The first umbrella that repels water!
So, the $DAYJOB is in the email business. We build and sell a high-performance, highly extensible MTA. I'm an engineer, but as the company started small, I have been involved with marketing direction from the very beginning. Part of that involvment is understanding who the competition is and what they can do.
Everywhere I look, every competitor we have has the first enterprise MTA. The first email application server. The first email server supporting virtual hosts (the ability to source different mails from different IPs). The first extensibility system. How can they all be the first?
I was visiting a site today and learned that they have the first email application server. I really need to rethink our system. Our product has been around longer (since 1999), but they have the first one... So perhaps our product isn't really an application server? I mean if it is, then that would mean they are lying through their teeth and have false advertising claims in their marketing materials. But, I suppose it doesn't matter much because everyone in the email space seems to be the first one to do everything despite the fact that all the purported features across the products are identical.
It's all utter bullshit. It's quite tiring because it means the first 5 things you read on any site are complete and utter crap. Our marketing guys want us to put stuff up like that too. I can't say that I blame them -- after all, every competitor has done so and thus the approach has clearly been pre-validated. However, I continue to resist.
The bottom line is that very rarely is the person who claims to have done something "first" the first one to do it (or the best one who does it) -- specifically in technology. Often times it is some dude just implementing something to scratch an itch and doesn't think to capitalize on it. At the end of the day, chances are you aren't doing something new. All you can do is do it better, smarter, faster, more efficient and more robustly than the competition. There's just no place for the first in software, because in the end what you need to be is the best -- that's what matters.
At OmniTI, we're pretty open with our ideas. After all, if I share our ideas with you and you adopt them, then tomorrow you will be where we were yesterday... good for you. The value we have is the combination of our roadmap, the ideas that aren't yet formalized yet that will continue to keep us ahead of the competition, and the crew of phenomenal engineers that make our ideas into reality.
I honestly believe that Ecelerity is the first to market with a plethora of its features. But at the end of the day, it just doesn't matter. What matters is that they are implemented better and that they meet the end-users' needs perfectly.