Related to Sunday’s notes about not being driven by hype-cycles, this phrase ‘Best, not first’ feels like a good one to follow for public services implementing new or greenfield technologies.

It’s from a piece on Apple and their relative inaction on AI compared to Microsoft and Google. While Google and Microsoft have built generative AI versions of their search engines, Apple has “only” applied AI to their autocorrect feature.

But that’s good. Autocorrect is a feature with a wide surface area, used every day by billions of people, right at the core of the experience in almost every app on iOS.

That’s important. That’s utility over being flashy.

And here’s the ‘Best, not first’ phrase making an appearance.

Apple is almost never at the forefront of stuff like this. They’re a deliberate company. Their goal, as with any new technology, is to integrate it into products in meaningful ways best, not first.

Companies in the private sector are driven by competition in a market. If you don’t do something, your competitors will and they’ll eat up your market share. It’s why so many startups focus on creating an innovation moat, a competitive advantage that sets you apart and helps you overtake a market.

But public services don’t work like that. They’re not in a competitive context so don’t need to rush to be the first at something. They’re better off integrating a technology in deliberate ways rather than just to break some headlines.

Again, focus on creating meaningful experiences rather than announceables.