Being first to market isn’t always best: Ask Microsoft about Apple Watch  

Have a great idea for a company or a product and think you need to rush to market to beat the competition? According to ShareFile founder Jesse Lipson, you might want to think again.

“Many entrepreneurs think that they need to launch as soon as possible, to get ahead of demand and anticipate what’s coming,” he writes in his latest column on Forbes.com. “Driven further by the incorrect notion that it’s essential to beat everyone else to the punch, they’re often left facing a market that isn’t ready and a product that’s not quite there yet.”

And it’s true. If you look throughout business history, there are plenty of examples of smart ideas that just launched too early. The Apple Watch may seem like the latest and greatest innovation, but Microsoft launched its smartwatch, SPOT, which had similar features, more than a decade ago.

As Lipson says, “History is replete with examples of failed products that paved the way for the things we use and love today. But who wants to be yesterday’s failure?”

Read Lipson’s full column on Forbes.com to see why it’s not always best to rush to market and what you can do to time your launch right.

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