We were talking in my marketing class today about potential advantages of sometimes not being the first in teh industry that you can learn from other's experiences and avoid "teething" problems.
I wanted to know how that argument could apply to the airline industry.
Here are just two examples:
1) new aircraft types: the airlines that get the original aircraft are often the ones that face the most problems (is this true?) IIRC, didn't airlines that first ordered the 747 had several problems?
2) Cabin technology.
I think British Airways was the first to come up with both the "cacoon" seat in First Class, as well as the flat bed in Business Class. Others have since emulated them, and in some cases surpassed them.
The bottom line of my question is which counts more: the innovation and prestige of being the first to introduce a product, or foregoing that to wait for a product to emerge and then adopt it once other airlines have ironed out the problems.