You might have heard the terms ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO), and ‘First Mover’s Fear’ (FMF). It causes many debates among people who are trying to decide which type they are. In this article, we will look broader to these concepts and try to comprehend them through the perspective of blockchain.
To begin with, we need to disclose the meaning behind both terms. The ‘fear of missing out’ or the ‘fear of regret’ is mainly linked to people who can feel mentally intimidated if they don’t participate in every event that is happening around them. When it comes to a more comprehensive point of view, FOMO people are the ones that come second. What do we mean? It means that they are afraid to start something new before they know it’s safe and beneficial. Whenever they recognize that the act is valid, they rush to adopt it and fear to miss out a trendy and promising discovery.
On the other hand, there are FMF people who are early adopters of new concepts. They don’t wait for someone else to try the ground and do it themselves. However, risks come with high costs, as many of these experiments don’t execute.
Blockchain – FOMO vs. FMF
More than a decade ago, blockchain crossed the technology landscape. At first, it was mainly used for the cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin in particular. Many people didn’t even know about blockchain until Bitcoin reached its peak at the end of 2017. Then, along the publicity of the cryptocurrency, the technology behind it came to light. Now, many brands are interested in this innovation and experiment with implementing it for their business. As the worth of Bitcoin crashed, it can be considered as a great example of FOMO versus FMF.
In this particular situation, first movers were people who bought Bitcoin when it was worth only a few cents. These people saw the possible value in digital currency thereby they invested in it. As a result, most of the early Bitcoin adopters now are wealthy due to the immense growth in 2017. To the contrary, FOMO people acknowledged the potential of the technology only after it reached its peak and it caused them to miss it. However, most of these people jumped into the industry and recognized the ability of blockchain. In other words, we could say that FOMO anxiety was the catalyst for blockchain to grow. Nonetheless this example, we should consider what advantages and disadvantages both mindsets bring.
FOMO vs. FMF. Advantages and Disadvantages
It might seem that first movers have an advantage over FOMO’s. However, both concepts are more complicated than you might think.
FMF – first movers are pioneers that inspire market stakeholders to follow their example. It’s okay if the idea is well-crafted and evolves to an established enterprise. First movers’ advantage allows you to demand your claims and have control over the market. Yet, it brings some loss. To be early is expensive. You have to push through all the regulations and create demand, not to mention it might take years for people to recognize the benefits of your idea. Moreover, it’s hard to get investments and convince investors that your plan is the new big hit. Also, the lack of experience can be an obstacle, as you don’t have any examples to rely on.
FOMO – if you have a fear of missing out it doesn’t mean you actually miss out the luck. Fear of missing out psychology has many benefits, such as having enough knowledge to master the idea in a way it would bring value. It’s easier for you to convince investors and other possible stakeholders that your business will pay off. Also, it gives you the advantage of improvement because you can study existing competitors and learn from their mistakes. However, if they, as first movers, succeed it will be hard to fight for your place on the marketplace. Another disadvantage is when FOMO’s lower the prices as they create higher competition. It’s beneficial for consumers, but not as much for providers.
There are many players in the current market; thereby they divide into two main groups – people who are pioneers and start new things and people who wait out for those things to prove themselves. With an existing system, it is vital to have these two groups so our economy could thrive and reach it’s highest potential. As some people try and fail, they give experience for others to master their concept or even eliminate it. While on the other hand, the same people discover a new invention that creates demand and accelerates our economy.