Getting it Right is More Important Than Being First

It's not about being first, and you only have to be right one time.Innovation doesn’t happen without adoption of an idea. Whether it’s an idea that is pitched internally, or launched to market, what is the main obstacle to adoption?

Fear of being first to get it right.

The default state of an idea is non-adoption

The adoption of any idea is a social process, one that is slow. It’s just the way it is, it also comes down to timing. And, what kills most innovations isn’t lack of ideas, it’s lack of relationships.

As we’ve discussed previously, people resist new technologies for various reasons; the strongest being a perception of loss. But people will resist even with evidence that a new idea is way better that the current option; people are anchored in the status-quo.

For the past 3 months I’ve had a new venture operating in stealth mode, already with a successful implementation. We are iterating on feedback, of course, and are now focusing on getting other “users” to adopt the solution. Though we’ve shown that our solution solves a common pain, we’ve been rejected; and have been asked to come back when more “users” adopt the solution.

This is a common problem, one that new ideas must overcome. Again, most people and organizations are afraid of being the first to try something new, in spite of evidence that it works.

So what do you do?

You keep trying.

Human nature is a pain in the ass. Some believe that it’s important to be first, others believe it’s important to be late. Neither is right. It matters how you play the game, not just being first.

As Google and other successful companies that were not first show: getting it right is more important than being first.

Bottom line: It’s not about being first, it’s about being first to get it right; and you only have to be right one time.