Oftentimes in marketing we use terms like Last Mover Advantage or Late Mover Advantage ‘. Brands coming to life at a later stage in a category that is established or maturing can reap the learnings and unlearnings of brands who have come before them. There is a vast reservoir of knowledge and actionable intelligence readily available without one having to go through the grind, time and expense of trial and error.
Over time that civilization set foot on this planet, 107 billion people have lived throughout history. The current world population is just over 8 billion( 8,059,147,655 as of Friday, September 8, 2023) according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometer.
These billions of people who came before us have tried things, failed, learned, tried things differently. And in doing so, they discovered new solutions. Which people like us now get to inherit, learn from and use, without the steep learning curve of trial and error.
Accumulated experience can be a competitive advantage for a company. As a company or a brand operates and accumulates experience in a given market or sector, it can develop a deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences, as well as of the challenges and opportunities in the market. This accumulated experience can enable the company to make more informed and effective decisions and to identify opportunities that may not be obvious to other companies.
Similarly, the cumulative lessons of those 107 billion people have been passed down to us. It is the greatest gift we will ever receive. We are smart not because of our individual genius, but because of our collective knowledge. Some of us are better than one of us.
The dead ( or the living before us to put it more respectfully), have left lessons, lineage and legacy for us. After all, there is what we call ‘ the wisdom of the crowds‘. Ratio and Proportion 101 tells us that it is almost a 14:1 ratio i.e. the dead: now living. We can ignore the vast accumulated experience of such a huge majority of mankind at our peril.
Being a late mover is a distinct and valuable competitive advantage. Shouldn’t we choose to leverage it?