The key to being a “fast follower”, is being able to see what we call “substance over form”:
Most people find it very difficult, to see “substance”, over “form”:
You cannot afford to have a superficial understanding of how something really works:
You have to be very methodical in breaking down, the reason why something is successful. Most often it is not as simple as it looks.
You have to keep asking yourself:
“How does this really work?”;
“What is the business model?”;
“How do they really make money?”
Ninety-nine percent of the users of What’s App, or Twitter, for instance have no idea, how it makes money. It is superficial, to say, “advertising”; not enough: how exactly, do they do it?!
Sometimes, when you dig deep, you find the “secret source”, is not even technological.
The Fast Follower, is methodical and dogged, in their analysis. They act quickly, but not rashly.
The Fast Follower knows that there is a huge difference between, “knowing” how something works, as a user (consumer), and what you need to know, as an entrepreneur, who is looking for a serious opportunity.
The Fast Follower, does not copy, they look at something very carefully, and then try to re-imagine it:
-“How can we make this better?”;
– “how do we use this, in our own context?”
Steve Jobs, did not invent the cell phone, in coming up with the iPhone. He took something that had been there, for nearly 20 years, and completely re-imagined it, to come up with the iPhone.
In Fact, Steve Jobs was the “master” Fast Follower:
He did not invent anything new. He innovated around ideas that had been there all along. The same could be said, about much of what Bill Gates did.
A Fast Follower knows that if you simply copy something, you have not understood it.
When a Fast Follower gets hold of something, they “re-imagine” it into something new.
Understanding the concept of being a Fast Follower”, opens up an incredible world for you and your business.
To be continued…
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa