[linux-elitists] Outlook corrupts

Larry M. Augustin lma@lmaugustin.com
Sat Jan 4 21:13:09 PST 2003

> From Rich Bodo on Saturday, January 04, 2003 5:13 PM
> > get enough of it right.  There's a lesson there: It's better to be
> > first to market with something that's crappy, but good enough, than to
> > be late to market with something that really works.  It's sad, but
> > they've executed on that very well.
> I beg to differ.  I contend that all other things being equal, it is
> always better to come to market late with a better product.  Best to
> market beats first to market.  Google search blew doors on yahoo
> search, who was first to market and had huge market share.  As long as
> they can keep the quality high, it looks like they will smoke yahoo in
> other areas as well.

Google is legendary in the venture community, and has spawned the verb "to
google", as in "That company is going to win the market unless someone comes
along and googles them."  Or, "the only risk is if someone comes along and
googles us."

But Google isn't necessarily a good counterexample.  Google is more
indicative of the rule that a new product has to be 10x better than the
existing product to replace it.  Also, Yahoo was never in the search engine
business.  They were in the directory business.  They were very clear on
that.  They always used someone else's search engine technology.  Yahoo did
not come out with a crappy product with the goal of grabbing market share
and improving the product later.  They came out with a directory & portal
product, and got blindsided by new technology that made the directory (and
all other search engine technologies) obsolete.

MS, on the other hand, knows that their first version is crap, but they use
that first version to freeze out the competition and grab market share.
Meanwhile, they invest heavily in the next releases.  They just keep
throwing so much at the problem that eventually they get it to be good
enough.  Meanwhile, they've made it a lot harder for the better, but later
technology to even get off the ground.


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