Six month old trend, then I'm ready to join: is your newspaper like that too?

I am now the proud owner of an mp3 player – my first.

It’s a trend of my coming to any popular phase months too late. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not.

In anything, from electronics to music to business innovation in media, there are trend-setters, followers and late-comers. Which are you, and which is your organization?

The trick is that every person and organization falls into one of those three categories at one time, but consistency and perceptions will trap you in one.

I don’t know if it’s just my being difficult or that I’m just trying to avoid being a follower because I often fall into the late-comer category.

I joined Facebook after graduating from college, four years after I first heard about it, like I did with your friend and mine, MySpace.

My being stubborn with these social media afforded me the opportunity to join them with a professional eye, just like getting an mp3 player onle now let me see others first and choose what was best for me.

Your organization might do the same. Wait for someone to innovate. Wait for the masses to follow. Then walk in later having learned from their mistakes.

Because there is danger in innovating. You don’t want to damage your brand. That would almost be as bad as having your brand be synonymous with late-coming, or worse, following (which is late-coming without the reward of another’s experiences)

Followers struggle, and late-comers are irrelevant to the conversation (like me in a talk on mp3 players). But innovators lead markets.