In the last few days, I've heard the term "fast follower" mentioned several times. It's used in the context of an unresolved bug/issue that (supposedly) will be quickly fixed and implemented.

Is this some new corporate jargon? I'm aware of a fast follower strategy, or second mover strategy (as described in this wikipedia article), but that doesn't apply in the context.

  • Maybe they're using the terms wrong. If so, it'll either catch on and become the new buzzword, or it won't and they'll just keep looking stupid. I've never heard the terms. – Edward Strange Jan 25 '11 at 16:59
  • Perhaps in relation to the software being released while the bug will become a fast follower post release... – Aaron McIver Jan 25 '11 at 17:07
  • Try and subvert it into "fist follower" or some such nonsense? Seriously, (without checking) it means getting in quick after the first mover. No idea why it would be applied to bug/fixes. I have heard mangled expressions by foreign colleagues or non-native speakers though which is one explanation for it... – gbn Jan 25 '11 at 20:48
  • Can you use it in a sentence? – Mark Canlas Feb 3 '12 at 23:01
  • 1
    FWIW, I did finally track this down. It was one of our project managers who came up with the term to put a positive spin on items that didn't make it into the release. Sadly, this term has caught on and is now part of our corporate jargon, as well as some of our vendors. – Mike Hildner Feb 6 '12 at 15:48

Sometimes a quick and temporary fix is applied to restrict an application to deal with a serious bug. It's a temporary patch, and not a fix. When the fix is a priority, it is often fast tracked and released immediately after the temporary solution. This could typically be called a fast follower.

Sadly, I think this is more a case of the Pointy Haired Boss and his marketers using jargon to make something sound more interesting that it probably should be.

Note: Any comment that appears immediately after my post will not be considered a "fast follower" :-P


"Fast follower" is a code word for we have already failed because we don't take any calculated risks on implementing our own innovative ideas. It means we won't do anything until someone else has succeeded in doing it and by then it is too late in the game.

I worked for a billion dollar a year company that used to espouse this as a virtue. Guess what they laid off half the company ( 900+ ) people in a single day and the stock has been in the tank for years because of this idiotic mind set.

In your case someone is using a term they don't understand in the incorrect context.


I think this has more to do with the business "fast follower" that might be releasing similar software with bugs of the original developer fixed hence taking advantage of an idea and original's problems.

Though I have not heard this used in such a context.

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