Friday, May 7, 2010

If you don't cannibalize your own products, someone else will

You need to be the one cannibalizing your own products. Too many companies make the mistake of trying to protect their one great idea from anything that might threaten it. In doing so they prevent themselves from innovating.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Apple's Unsung Innovation - Micro-payments

Apple has done a lot of things right with the iPhone / iPad over the past 3 years. However one thing that I haven't heard a lot of talk about is the iTunes payment system.

It might be a stretch to call it an innovation on Apple's part, but Apple certainly seems to be the first to get it right.

The success of the App Store I think is very strong evidence that people will pay for things if:
  1. They think it is a good product
  2. It is reasonably priced
  3. The purchase process is easy and fast
  4. They trust the store with their payment info
I think the ability to get customers to actually part with their money has drawn a lot of developers to the App Store. Sure I can write a quick flash game and toss it up on a website, but how to I get paid? Adds seem to be the only thing going, but it doesn't seem like there's a lot of independent software developers making a living off web based apps. Sure the big players can make it work, but for a lone developer with an idea to earn a living on the web usually requires venture capital, and years of planning. There are plenty of people making a living selling software in the App Store now, and they don't have VC partners to pay back eventually.

I think this also serves as strong evidence refuting some industry perspectives (RIAA/MPAA/etc) who think that the world is full of thieves, and only laws and technology will save their dying business models.