If the law of leadership, I wrote about a few weeks ago, were the only law that applied to bring your ideas and products to market then MITS should own the personal computer market. After all they were first to market with the very first person computer, the Altair 8800. But I doubt most you you have ever heard about them. Or if you are old enough to have heard about them. You probably have completely forgot about them. Does this mean the law of leadership does not work? No, the law of leadership continues to hold firm.
While the law of leadership holds firm it can and is often modified by the law of the mind. The law of the mind simply says it is not enough to be first to market you must be first in the mind of your potential customers and clients This law is reaffirmed over and over again. Being first in the marketplace is only beneficial to the extend that it allows you to be first in the mind of your potential customers and clients. A personal example of this is the simple song that goes “If your happy and you know it clap your hands.” and then you clap twice. Well I learned that song in Sunday School when I was a child. The only difference is that I learned it “If you saved and you know it clap your hands” The first time I heard it with happy rather than saved I did not like it because it I thought it was a rip off of my Sunday School song. While my Sunday School song was not the original it was first in my mind and therefore better.
Being first in the mind has tremendous impact in bring a product of service to market. In the 1980s MCI developed 1-800-Operator. At that time if you needed assistance getting connecting or placing a collect call you simply dial 0 for operator. MCI wanted part of that action. So they needed a way to put themselves first in the mind of the public. 1-800-operator was the solution. They spent a lot of money in advertising this service. They were able to make an impact in the market. But it cost a lot of money. Changing the mind of someone how has already made a decision or established a pattern, while not impossible, is difficult. Being first to market with a product or idea allows you to become first in the mind of potential customers and clients while expending comparatively little money. One a few dollars can work marketing miracles and the next day millions can not save a company.
Getting the name right for your product of service is also vital. The early personal computer industry illustrates this very well. In the early days of the personal computer The major players were Apple II, Commodore Pet, IMSAI 8080, MITS Altair 8800, and Radio Shack TRS-80 Which one of those names is the simplest and easiest to remember? The