I was watching an episode of Shark Tank the other night when I heard something that’s been sticking with me: “…pioneers get slaughtered while settlers prosper…”. The quote was from Daymond John, billionaire VC guest on the show.
I think that it’s a really keen observation when looking at most products that succeed in the end. Word was not the first word processor; Google was not the first search engine; Facebook was not the first social network.
As a pioneer most of my business life I relate to this A LOT. I created new products, new products that had never been created and business problems that have not been solved.
I think the lesson here is unless you have a Trust Fund, develop something slightly different to be new, but learn from the mistakes of others and become a settler right after the pioneer spends his time and money paving the way solving the stuff requiring lots of time and money… Something which you might not have…