Another sign that we’re living in a Seth Godin digital universe and not a Ries & Trout analog world occurred last week when Rupert Murdoch put up a “for sale” sign on MySpace.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing was a guidebook for media and marketing pros everywhere back in the '90s. And what was Rule #1?
1. It is better to be first than it is to be better.
Of course, that was the case for many brands – General Motors, Kodak, TWA. If you got in first, you could dominate for decades.
But as we’ve learned over the past decade or so, just being first in is no guarantee of long-term success.
Yahoo! was the first search engine – not Google.
Palm's Treo was once the hot smartphone.
And now the first mega-social network, MySpace, is on the scrap heap as News Corporation looks for a new buyer. Their explanation?
"The new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have seen very encouraging traffic figures. But the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential will be better realised under a new owner.”
The fact is that in this Wild West digital environment, being first doesn’t mean much. That’s’ why Steve Jobs, the Google team, and Mark Zuckerberg are working themselves and their teams in hyperdrive to stay sharp, cutting edge, and innovative.
There are a lot of chips out on the table for companies that have the passion, desire, and bandwidth to be great.
For those mailing it in, “same as it ever was” is the fastest path to an obituary.
Just ask Rupert.