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Start Software is an award-winning developer and leading publisher of asbestos software, systems for the legal services industry and more.

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Is being first to market always a good thing?

We've been building an innovate iPad app for a client over the last couple of months (using the Alpha Anywhere development platform, naturally).

The client approached us with an idea, which we helped them to refine, and then we started the build.  Key to their plans was the belief that they were going to be first to market and they were keen that their app should be unique.

All was going fine until a chance conversation revealed that there is already a product on the market which is very similar to their idea - and this caused the client to wobble and question their project completely.  My response was that being second to market is often the best position to be - but why?

Just before we took off from Belfast to Providence yesterday
I'm writing this blog from the Alpha DevCon in Newport, Rhode Island.  I flew out yesterday on a new low-cost service from Belfast to Providence (near Boston) which Norwegian has started to run.  This is a completely new service on a new route, with a new type of plane and an innovative in-flight service to give crazy low prices.  But you'll see from the photo, above, that they are seriously struggling to fill seats.  This is because they are having to create a market - it simply doesn't exist currently.

So this is the problem with being first to market. It often isn't the best place to be. The client is reassured and the app build continues - and hopefully we'll be piggybacking on the back of the marketing work that the competitor has already done.


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