The failure rate for “first mover” products is 47%.

Golder and Tellis conducted a study involving over 3,000 startups and found that the “first movers” failure rate was 47%.

The idea of a first-mover advantage has long been held as an ideal for businesses. It is thought that being the first to market with a new product or service can give you an edge over competitors, allowing you to capture the majority of the market share and reap the rewards. However, recent research has shown that this is not always the case.

Golder and Tellis (1993, Tellis & Golder 1996) conducted a study involving over 3,000 startups and found that the failure rate for “first movers” was actually 47%. Nearly half of all products or services launched by first-movers failed in their early years. Furthermore, they found that the average market share of these pioneers was only 10%, indicating that even if they did succeed, it wasn’t enough to dominate the market.

These findings suggest that while being first to market may have its advantages, it should not be seen as a guarantee of success. Companies should consider other factors, such as customer demand, competition and pricing, before launching a product or service. Additionally, businesses should be aware of the potential risks associated with being a first mover and plan accordingly.


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