Being first is not the key to success

Have a bright idea? Take it to market! But, don't fool yourself into thinking that because you're the first to offer a product or service, that you'll dominate your niche. Case in point: Hydrox cookies.

Now, one of the things I love about social media is that I learn so much. For example, this week I saw an update on Google+ from Matt Fox that said Hydrox came before Oreo, despite popular believe that Hydrox was a knock-off of the now famous cookie. "You don't have to be 1st to market with a product to dominate the market," Matt wrote. He's so right.

I looked into the history of Hydrox a little more and verified that it was, indeed, four years older than Oreo. For the trivia lovers, the "hydr" stands for hydrogen and the "ox" stands for oxygen, which when combined creates water. I don't know about you, but that makes no sense to me as the name for a cookie. But, I digress.

So, think about your niche. Have you held back because there's already competition out there? Have you talked yourself out of something because you think you have no chance? The reality is that Oreo is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and Hydrox no longer exists.

Why are you waiting? Being first doesn't make you better. It just makes you first.


  1. LOVE the analogy Amber....(and what an awful name!)

    Hope you're well,


  2.  Mmmmm....yummy. Tastes like chemistry!

  3. I saw a program about Oreos on tv and they mentioned how Hydrox was first but didn't last. They said that it might have been the name, Hydrox sounds like a chemical. :)

  4. I never DID understand why the creative geniuses at Sunshine named a cookie HYDROX....really?!?  I'm not even that creative and I would NEVER have named a cookie Hydrox...oh well.  So, right from the start, Hydrox had the whole name thing working against them.  And then, there was the was definitely not as good as an Oreo....definitely.   So, you are right...(and I love this line) "being first doesn't make you just makes you first"...
    What a great argument for making what you offer to customers simply awesome....because awesome speaks volumes! 

    Thanks Amber!!

  5. Amber, all you have to do is Google it and find this Wikipedia post " Its name was formed from the atomic elements which make up pure water:hydrogen
    and oxygen .[2] The
    similar Oreo —introduced later, in 1912—was inspired by the Hydrox, yet Hydrox suffered from the impression of being a knockoff. Compared to the Oreo, the Hydrox had a "tangy, less-sweet filling" and a crunchier cookie that stood up better in milk. "

  6.  Yep, I could think of a much better name in my sleep!

  7.  Hi Dave,

    Yes, the link in my post already goes to that article. You gotta love Wikipedia! ;-)

  8. Claudia,

    In my research on this, I found a Hydrox fan site and those folks definitely preferred Hydrox! But, obviously that enthusiasm didn't equate to adequate sales.

    And, you're right. awesome does speak volumes!

    Thanks for chiming in, lovely lassie!

  9. Amber,

    WHy does that remind me of Breaking Bad?

  10. Uh yeah, we made these wings you can strap on and fly like a bird; we are going to jump off this 100' cliff, who wants to be first? 

    There are countless stories of innovators who were first but were quickly overtaken by others who could do it better/cheaper. A lot of those stories fall in the tech arena. Still have your Betamax? 

  11. No Betamax, but I still have a handful of VHS tapes! ;-)


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