Being first is not the only way to win. The cost of crossing the finish line first sometimes outweighs the prize you get for winning. The second mouse to reach the trap gets the cheese and gets to search for more tomorrow. All but the slowest runner in the group escapes the bear.
Apple didn’t make the first computer, MP3 player, or Smartphone. Amazon didn’t invent the bookstore. They didn’t win by trying to finish first.
Finishing second (or later) means you can see the finish line and what prizes await those who finish. Coming in second lets you decide in advance if the rewards are worth the effort or if you should start running a different race.