Wouldn’t it be great if the business community at large held some kind of awards ceremony, where the pioneers of each innovation that went on to take the world by storm were awarded some prize money? Unfortunately though, that’s not quite how business works, hence the association of businesspersons with shrewdness and sometimes even outright ruthlessness.
Things take even more of an unfortunate turn when we look at those innovations which specifically form part of the tech industry, for it is in the tech world wherein it appears as if it really doesn’t pay to be a pioneer. It might have paid to be a pioneer back in the days when the barriers to entry into the tech sector were much higher, but these days there are even some cunning ways around protected intellectual property. If you come up with a great idea for an app or a website for instance, a clone can be up within 24 hours if the right team is assembled to effectively reverse-engineer your solution and trying to stop it from going into direct competition with you often proves to be a futile exercise. You’d be wasting time and money…
The worst of it though is that over the years, history has proven not to favour the pioneers. Tech pioneers inevitably get the life driven out of them with many arrows in their backs and there are so many modern day examples to draw on.
Think the likes of MySpace and perhaps even Friendster, as perhaps the pioneering social media platforms which essentially went on to pave the way for Facebook to take over the world as its favourite social media platform. Many people might have a love-hate relationship with Facebook, but generally it appears as if it’s very hard to get away from it.
Going a little further back in time, think the likes of Google, which is the world’s best loved or certainly the world’s biggest search engine, by far, and yet it definitely wasn’t the world’s pioneering search engine. There were many, many more search engines before Google and yet there are some users of Google who don’t even know this. In fact, some internet users think the entire internet is pretty much just Google!
It’s not all doom and gloom for the pioneers though, certainly not for the key figures behind those pioneering technologies. Once you’ve made somewhat of a name for yourself within the tech circles, it is that name which ensures that you will always have a place set for you at some or other dinner table. The number of outright failures you have under your belt make for somewhat of a badge of honour, so you can only imagine what a pioneering success would do for you.
So if anyone is thinking of getting into the business of pioneering tech, go for it! If the worst happens and you get an arrow in the back, you will have built a name for yourself with a legacy of innovation attached to it that will forever be in demand.