First Mover Advantage: Another Lesson from 2008 Presidential Politics

Everyone knows about the strategic need for speed. 2,500 years ago, Sun Tzu wrote that the best time to move is while your opponent is still planning, perhaps the first statement about how strategy favors action over planning. IWe call this the first mover advantage, but the Internet has changed the rules of time and space even more fundamentally to an "any time/any place" mentality that makes the need for speed even more important. For example, in the presidential election, one of the many areas of Methods in which the Obama campaign excelled was its understanding of the ability to "time shift" people's votes. As this article at Extreme Mortiman points out, Obama recognized this basic change in thinking, getting people to vote for him in a six-week period as opposed to a seventy-two hour period before October 4th.