Being a First Mover or a Follower in a High-Tech Industry

It might be assumed that within the scope of the high-tech industry, there are some reasons to be a first mover. The crucial advantage here is that a company is able to exploit positive feedback loops (CFI, no date), which is essential in terms of the mentioned industry because a high-tech customer segment is very sensitive to any drawbacks associated with the related products. It is important to promptly fix any errors and provide updates constantly, which is likely to result in a competitive advantage over the “followers.” The associated significant aspect here is that the first mover can obtain specific knowledge about customers’ preferences earlier than the others and utilize it as well.

However, the industry is over-saturated with giants like Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. And given the high initial costs of product development and marketing, the strategy of the first mover seems to be inappropriate. Even if there is a brand-new product or solution in this industry – in case it is not provided by the giants – the developed companies will make the same or even advanced offers, which will replace the first mover quickly. Hence, it seems reasonable to summarize that the approach of the “follower” is better in the framework of the high-tech market. Nevertheless, it should be admitted that the first-mover approach still contains noticeable advantages that can be taken into account while entering the industry. In particular, if a company is well-developed, recognized, and possesses the necessary resources, the first-mover strategy could fit the scenario.

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