last-mover advantage


last-mover advantage
n.
The advantage a company gains by building its business slowly and then benefiting down the road from improved technology or lower costs, especially during an economic downturn
Example Citation:
Dynegy's announcements even included a dig at Enron's "first-mover" braggadocio. Dynegy would take advantage of ever-accelerating advances in technology to capture what it called the "last-mover" advantage.
— Michael Rieke, "Enron Envy Costing Dynegy Big Bucks," Dow Jones Energy Service, May 6, 2002
Earliest Citation:
Broadcasters hope to present FCC with proposal by end of week to accelerate schedule for buildout of network-owned digital TV (DTV) facilities in top-10 markets, industry officials said. . . . Accelerated schedule also would help offset "last mover advantage," official said. Stations that switch to DTV later probably would have advantage of lower equipment costs and more DTV sets in market when they launch.
— "Networks discussing response to accelerated DTV schedule," Communications Daily, March 5, 1997
A more general sense of the phrase — the advantage a person gains by being the last to perform an action — appeared a bit earlier:
Second, although our model somewhat arbitrarily allows the defender of the status quo a last-mover advantage, this can be supported as an equilibrium result in a more general model in which neither vote buyer is given such an advantage.
— Tim Groseclose; James M. Jr. Snyder, "Buying supermajorities," American Political Science Review, June 1, 1996
Notes:
It's easy now to look back upon the defunct dot-com era and laugh at the silly business plans and the 18-wheeler's-worth of cash that previously smart venture capitalists would throw at those startups. But at the time the frenzy was fueled by a single imperative, a three-word mantra repeated endlessly and extolled as the path to wired success: first-mover advantage. If you got in before anyone else, costs bedamned, you could lock up "mind share," build your "brand," and become the unassailable "market leader." Profits? They were for "sissies."
Sometimes this strategy actually worked, although for every Amazon.com success there were a thousand Pets.com failures. So now the business gurus, their hindsight glasses firmly in place, have begun to look not to the hare, but the tortoise. Could it be better, they muse, to try for the last-mover advantage, instead? It's a risky course, but last movers boast a number of advantages over first movers. First movers must often buy all or most of their technology up front; last movers buy over time as they build the business, and so reap the benefits of later technologies that are better and cheaper. First movers compete with other startups for talented workers; last movers often get to cherry pick from a larger pool of available talent (or even poach the best from the first movers). First movers make mistakes as they learn their market; last movers learn from those mistakes. First movers build their businesses from scratch; during a downturn, last movers can build their businesses by purchasing entire companies whose stock price has plummeted. Does it work? Well, that's the thing: with last movers, only time will tell.
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Look at other dictionaries:

  • last-mover advantage — ➔ advantage * * * last mover advantage UK US noun [S or U] ► MARKETING the advantage that a company has when it is the last to introduce a new product, service, or technology, because it can learn from developments that have taken place, or from… …   Financial and business terms

  • second-mover advantage — ➔ advantage * * * second mover advantage UK US noun [C] MARKETING ► the advantage that a company has when it offers a product or service later than a competitor, because it can learn from customers reactions and offer something better than its… …   Financial and business terms

  • first-mover advantage — ➔ advantage * * * first mover advantage UK US noun [U] ► MARKETING the advantage that a company has when it is the first to introduce a new product, service, or technology, and so does not have competition from other companies: »We lost a lot of… …   Financial and business terms

  • first-mover advantage — n. The advantage a company gains by being first to market with a new product or service. Example Citation: It s absolutely true that nothing can make up for first mover advantage, and the proof is that Yahoo! remains where it is today and eBay… …   New words

  • First-mover advantage — is the advantage gained by the initial occupant of a market segment. This advantage may stem from the fact that the first entrant can gain control of resources that followers may not be able to match.cite book |last=Grant |first=Robert M.… …   Wikipedia

  • advantage — ad‧van‧tage [ədˈvɑːntɪdʒ ǁ ədˈvæn ] noun [countable, uncountable] something that helps you to be better or more successful than others: • America s lead in aerospace is one of its most important competitive advantages. • Government subsidies give …   Financial and business terms

  • mover — mov‧er [ˈmuːvə ǁ ər] noun [countable] FINANCE a share whose price has increased or decreased a lot in a particular period: • It was one of today s major movers up 10 to 468. * * * mover UK US /ˈmuːvər/ noun [C] ► STOCK MARKET a company whose… …   Financial and business terms

  • Amazon — v. To take away business from a more established rival by being the first to build an online presence. Example Citation: Although [Amazon.com CEO Jeff] Bezos emphasizes his obsession with the customer and plays down his concern with rivals, the… …   New words

  • Buzzwords — B2B black swan braggables Buns of Steel buzzword bingo buzzword compliant cockroach problem drop yo …   New words

  • E-commerce — Amazon B2B B2B2C B2C C2B2C C2C clicks and bricks clicks and mortar …   New words


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