Before I get back to Maslow, etc. I saw this a post at Niblettes which got me thinking...
My last post got me thinking about the question of getting to market first versus getting to market right. The oft parroted common wisdom is that to succeed you need to get your thing to market first. I generally skeptical of anything oft parroted. Sure the early bird gets the worm, but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. Here are a few examples:
- VHS. Worse than betamax on nearly every level. What’s a betamax?
- Quicken. At the time of Inuit’s 1984 release of Quicken there had already been over 40 commercial software packages for personal finance
- Office. Know anyone who still uses Lotus123, VisiCalc or WordPerfect?
- World of Warcraft.Released at a time when there were countless MMORPGs, most of which also fantasy based, and it left them all in the dust
- Dyson Vacuums. Upstart company is devouring the tired old vacuum cleaner market
- Del.icio.us. Blink.com came first by years, had vastly more users, and more funding, but its long gone now and Del.icio.us is the gold standard for online bookmarking.
My reaction is to think that markets are aggregations of people and if products, services, experiences a good enough and better than the other offers then they tend to win.
So VHS won because it was easy to obtain movies at reasonable cost that people needed not technically superior pictures.
Quicken won because they worried about the job their users needed to do and made it easier to do it!
Office won because it was their when I needed it and was same as at work... who had switched because the packages seemed more integrated.
Dyson won because it addressed the need to clean the carpet and showed how well it did it all the time!
Maybe understanding the needs of the customer/consumer/user is the driving force for getting it right enough! I remember being told that something my team had designed didn't deserve to win the battle for launching on market as it only excited customers whereas the other solution enabled more marketing claims.....
there are two interconnected journies to market... the first is a validity journey (does somebody like it?) and the second is a viability journey (do enough people like it?). I'll discuss the model in another post.