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Doing It Right, Not First by Andrew Dumont

There’s a common misconception among first time entrepreneurs that the only way to win is to be the first. The first to attempt an idea, the first to enter a specific market. It’s something I’ve been meaning to touch on for some time, then this came across my feed.

Elegantly said. Too many put an emphasis on being the first to think of an idea. So much so that they never actually create anything, they just keep trying to think of an idea that doesn’t yet exist. The most iconic companies in the world weren’t the first, they were simply the best. MySpace beat Facebook to the punch, HP hit the market before Apple, PicPlz existed before Instagram.

It didn’t matter.​ They succeeded because they did it right.

‘Doing it right’ can mean a lot of different things, but I think the most common theme these days is simplicity. Taking a poor user experience, over-zealous feature set or ​complex interface and dumbing it down is often a safe bet. We need simplicity. This is how Jack’s Square is blowing dated cash registers out of the water, and it’s how we’re attempting to shake up the CRM market with Stride. If we were concerned about being first, we sure wouldn’t have attempted to enter that space. We knew we could compete on user experience and simplicity, so we did.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, and you’ll likely never be the first person to think of them.​ Worry about executing, not being first.

Next time someone says, “doesn’t so and so already do that?” to your fledgling startup idea. Tell them, “yeah, so what? I’ll do it better.”

Andrew is the Director of Business Development at Moz, a marketing analytics platform with over 25,000 customers. In previous lives, Andrew held similar roles at Seesmic (acquired by Hootsuite) and Tatango. During the occasional free weekend or evening, Andrew can often be found hacking on Stride, a passion project of his. He also can be found on Twitter @AndrewDumont and on his blog Always On.

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