Did you know there were mp3 players before the iPod? There sure were. Apple’s ownership of this category came not because they were a fast first but a smart second.
And a lot of what’s smart about their “second to market” strategy is the stubborn insistence on simlicity and elegance of design, as noted in this article from Harvard Business School:
Apple smartly surveyed the marketplace and discerned that any competitive software platforms would win or lose based on ease of use.
Ease of use. More food for thought as we ponder a Radio techno-shift called “HD” where “HD” doesn’t stand for anything, where 30-some-odd familiar stations will become 100-some-odd unfamiliar ones, where three stations may lurk on the same frequency as the one we know, and where frequencies suddenly have dashes and new decimals where there were none before.
If we confuse the audience we will lose and lose big, regardless of the hype you’re reading on the “advertorials” in all the trades.