Does it matter if somebody else is already selling, what you’re selling? Do you have to be first to market to succeed? Is somebody else is already providing that service? How important is originality? 

The short answer to those questions is, it does not matter and it is not important at all. But the long answer to that question, which is what you’re here for really is, is still no but with some explanation. 

There will always be far more customers looking for your solution than there will be people providing that solution 

It does not matter if somebody else is already providing that service or product because there are over 7.8 billion people in this world, a number that grows every day. There are more than enough customers to go around and there are more than enough people to serve, so many in fact that you wouldn’t be able to serve them all. 

As for the question about originality, nothing in this world is truly original. Never has been and never will be. Every idea you have is a continuation of something else that you’ve seen or experienced, whether you realise it or not. True innovation is few and far between. 

What does innovation mean to you? 

What are the things that you think of as being innovative in this world, that you consider being innovations? They are just things that you are new to, the person that come up with the idea was not. The person that came up with the idea has, whether they realise it or not, has taken experiences that they’ve had, products they’ve seen, services they’ve seen, ideas that they’ve heard about and they moulded it into something new.

There is no real innovation, not really. Innovation in itself is not the creation of something. Instead, it is developing an idea. As in, taking an idea and furthering that idea, and making it different enough that it seems new. I don’t mean stealing an idea, I mean taking inspiration from another concept or idea and using it to craft something that fulfils a different need.

There is no need to innovate, invent, or originate

You don’t have to innovate, you don’t have to be an innovator, you just have to do what you do, well. Also, you have to find the right people to do it for. And that’s pretty much it. You don’t need to be the first, you don’t even need to be the best, you just need to be good enough for the people you serve. You need to find your people, your tribe, your group of people that your product or service can be of benefit to, and that you fit in with. Position yourself as a leader in that community. You don’t have to be the best to do that, you just have to be the ideal person for those people and that in itself is not hard. 

We do it socially all the time. We curate a group of friends around us that offer us something and we offer them something. Friendship is an exchange of value. And that exchange of value is no different to the exchange of value that happens in commerce; the dynamic of it is the same at least. So find people that are looking for what you’re providing and involve yourself in their community. Carve out your space, your position within that community, and make yourself an invaluable asset to those people. 

Who say’s you need to be first to market? You just need to be good

Did you know you don’t need to be an innovator, you just need to be good? You need to be good at what you do, you need to be a good person, and you need to be good for the people that you work with. 

The idea that everybody needs to innovate or do something new is preposterous. The idea that you have to be in some way original is preposterous. Nobody is original, nobody innovates, nobody is the creator of something new.

You cannot, and will not, create something out of nothing

Physics teaches us that it is impossible to create something out of nothing and when it comes to business I don’t see anything being different. You cannot create something out of nothing, you can only improve on something, or continue something. You can’t create something out of thin air, it just doesn’t work that way. We are not able to do that. 

We can make incremental changes to another idea, we can merge ideas, we can bring things together. So stop trying. And, stop using it as an excuse for not taking action.

Innovation and origination is less important than momentum

If you want to improve your position in this world, then create momentum in your own life. Don’t worry about originality, don’t worry about being an innovator, just take some action. Take action on a good idea. And that’s it. Simple. 

There’s no need to worry about being first. First to market is not the same as being original anyway. First to market means exactly as described, you were the first person to get out there and sell it. But, historically, the first to market does not make the most profit. The people that make the most profit are those that follow on from them, that improve on what they’re doing. So worry less about being first to market, and worry more about creating something that is positive and good, that is useful and constructive.

Your worries about being first to market I just a thin veil over your insecurities

When people worry about being first to market, nine times out of ten what they’re really worried about is failure and judgement. so when you find yourself talking yourself out of taking action because somebody else is already done it take a moment to reflect and figure out exactly why you feel that way. Figure out why you feel like you have to be first and what difference it would make to you if you were first or not.

When you realise that there is power to be had in improving upon an existing process, service, or product it is quite liberating. Liberating in the sense that it frees you from the responsibility of having to figure everything out yourself because you can look to the market and find what has worked and what hasn’t. It presents you with an opportunity to excel where others have floundered. An opportunity that only exists because other people have already paved the way, they have already experienced the ups and downs and, as a result, have presented you with a roadmap that you can follow, develop, and improve.

First to market is often not the most profitable route 

First to market is a frightening and, usually, not very profitable proposition. When you think about all the great successes in the world, how many of those were actually first to market? You might think that some of those were first to market but the truth of the matter is all of those people took ideas and inspiration from elsewhere they improved upon and existing process, product, or service.  Facebook did not invent social media, Microsoft did not invent the computer, Apple did not invent the MP3 player, and Google did not invent the search engine. 

There is, is and always has been, a great deal of value to be found in imitation

The value of imitation is something that I have previously written about. looking at what other people have achieved, where they have failed, and where there are gaps in their strategy offers you an opportunity to improve upon the work that they have already done so that your version of that particular product or service is the best possible version around. You can find the piece that I wrote on the value of imitation here 

If you are unsure about all of this and you need further clarification, then head over to my company website and send me a message. You can find a link to the contact page of my website here 

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