The landscape changes quickly in web/tech and the behemoths of today (Google, Facebook, Apple) seem unsurpassable.
Don't forget they weren't the first guys on the scene.
The flip side of 'First-mover advantage' is the beauty of coming at an existing product or market afresh. Unencumbered by the constraints of old, out-dated business models or technology.
Or, sometimes - just doing it better.
- Creative Labs Nomad/Zen was first - but the iPod won.
- Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, AltaVista - all destroyed by latecomer Google.
- Blackberry, Nokia, Sony Ericsson - all doing fine until the iPhone changed the game.
- Friendster pre-dates both MySpace and Facebook.
And so on...
You don't need to be first, you need to be better. Google weren't the first guys on the scene - they won't be the last either.