Don’t be the falling tree (at least not in an empty forest).

Distribution > First to market


(distribution + first to market) > distribution

If you can be first to market in a distribution method, then you probably get the best of both scenarios.

Think Figma.

  • Building for everyone in the design process and not just designers (big distribution) is also the foundation of Figma’s core loop.
  • Architecting Figma to be truly browser-first (first to market is not only innovating on core ideas, first to market when applied to distribution methods of existing ideas can be very powerful), instead of just having storage be in the cloud.
  • Their head start in new technologies like WebGL and CRDTs that made this browser-first approach possible.
  • Focusing on a product purpose-built for those designing vector-based digital products.

So, yes, even though the reasons why Figma succeeded are not just about being brower-first, I believe their ability to ship their product using an innovative distribution method (at the time) was key to their success.