The “Outrunning the bear” pattern

Startups are often framed vs the bear. Here is a problem. We will solve it. The world will not address. We outrun the bear.

But usually the “technology” will inevitably outrun the bear. Something new like GPS or picture streams or social news or whatever is just definitely going to happen. The real question is will you outrun the other guy. The bear will catch him.

It’s a pattern.

Pinterest vs. TheFancy, Delicious etc
Foursquare vs. Gowalla
Instagram vs. PicPlz
Youtube vs. Vimeo?

You get the idea.

The puzzle for me is actually cases where both rivals make it. Like Facebook v Twitter. The “winner wins” pattern is easier to understand, and I think investors love to chase the winners for this reason.