Does “better” matter?

Zoli Erdos asked "Would You Rather Be First to Market or Better?". He doesn’t really answer the question though:

The list could go on, but I think the point is clear: there is no land-grab in software. "First mover advantage" is significant in some areas – like Kevin’s Digg, since it depends on a network effect – but in others the second or third player to the market may just execute better. (Btw, second to the market does not mean copycat, since anyone will likely recognize that developing these products takes some time, so parallel efforts are going on at different companies – but timing is beyond the point here anyway).

I understand the value of being first, but really, does "better" matter?Once you are "good enough", as long as you don’t fall behind, you should be fine.

Microsoft didn’t get as big as it did by building better products. There are plenty of products that work better. And they were never first.

Apple’s iPod isn’t better than any other MP3 player. And they weren’t first either.

"Better" is relative, and it certainly isn’t enough by itself to make people switch.

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