Innovation is an investment, and just like any investment it entails a measure of risk. How much risk is up to you, but the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward.
Take the iPhone for example. When the SDK was first released, some sprang at the opportunity to code for the new platform. Others waited to see its market penetration numbers before spending time coding for what could potentially be a flop. Still others were so ingrained in their existing business models that they didn’t even see the opportunity or the potential of the iPhone as a new facet of their offering.
The early adopters were the winners in this story. For one, they amassed valuable experience on a now extremely popular platform. Those who waited to get into the game were a bit late to the party but are also on the fast track to making headway in this emerging market. Finally, those who weren’t even aware of the opportunity that the iPhone presented are slowly coming around. But by the time they integrate it into their business models, the early adopters will have made deep inroads in the market and begun investing in other things.
Of course this isn’t always the way it works. Early adopters can just as easily be burned by a failed investment, but in an industry where accounts are won and lost on reputation alone, being the ones known for their expertise in an emerging platform can be just the thing to get that contract signed.
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