“The Early Bird Gets the Worm, But the Second Mouse Gets the Cheese”
The Second Mouse Checks Out His Cheese Inventory
Photograph is from two Wikipedia sources:
I heard this quote on last night’s Criminal Minds (“The Road Home,” original airdate: January 22, 2014) and thought it was quite hilarious (although not so much for First Mouse).
After laughing at the seeming absurdity, I realized that there is much truth in that statement; being First Mouse to approach the trap, filled with a seductive cheese treat, is not a good place to be.
Meanwhile, cagey Second Mouse, perhaps sniffing something amiss, awaits in the shadows.
We can all figure out what happens next – Second Mouse wends his way around the corpse of First Mouse and claims his prize...
This quote can serve as a metaphor for what happens in the business world, especially in the tech sector.
Time and time again, First Mouse builds a site, develops it, and, for a time, enjoys success. Then Second Mouse swoops in and builds a better site, and First Mouse fades away.
Think MySpace and Facebook – although Second Mouse Facebook may be killing itself off with its annoying ad-bloated platform and unhappy users (enter Third Mouse, perhaps).
Think Yahoo and Google.
Think IBM and Apple.
I’m not sure why Second Mouse often prevails; perhaps First Mouse becomes smug and doesn’t see Second Mouse nipping at his heels.
Perhaps the First Mouse corporate culture is so arrogant that it falls into an “I am Invincible” mindset and doesn’t see the traps set in front of it.
Every organism has a life cycle, with a distinct beginning, middle, and end; none of us escapes the inevitable conclusion of our lives.
Perhaps organizations have a similar cycle and that eventual demise is inevitable, either from within (for example, not being nimble enough during times of technological disruption) or via outside influences and even outright sabotage.
I don’t know if earth is First World with Second World waiting in the shadows, but I can say this with relative certainty: our world will end someday, hopefully farrrr into the future, either by our own hand (climate change due to pollution, nuclear war, chemical poisoning, etc.) or via outside forces (the sun goes nova, a mega-comet crashes to earth, a black hole swallows us, another species conquers us and kills us, etc.).
Have a happy, wonderful day!