Coming to market second isn't necessarily bad. Being first can mean breaking new ground, educating physicians, patients and payers about a new treatment or diagnostic modality, with all the attendant costs and ramp-up time.

In cases where the first products are perceived as having drawbacks, reaction to the second product can go one of two ways. It can be seen as an improvement over the first generation, welcomed by users who liked the concept of the originals and are eager to adopt an improved version. Or, users may be so turned off by the first generation, convinced by experience that the upside isn't worth the downside, that they tar the new model with the same brush without even trying it.