Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Great Products Don’t Sell Themselves

In the early 2000s, Microsoft released the Zune to battle the iPod. It was cheaper and as good as its Apple counterpart, but it was essentially a copy. The Zune never stood a chance.

A few years later, HP created the TouchPad to kill the iPad. The clone was permanently taken off the shelves after 49 days.

These cases only prove imitations aren’t powerful enough to outpace marketleaders. 

So what about the Betamax?

In the ‘70s raged a war between videotapes: Betamax versus VHS. 

Betamax was the earlier and superior product, yet everybody flocked to VHS. The second-rate copycat won.

Why?

Probably because the Betamax did too good a job of fitting in. Which is never a smart move in a busy marketplace.

But visibility alone is not enough to lead a great product to success.

Just look at the ‘81 DeLorean. The Back to the Future icon stood out with its spectacular design and was far from invisible, yet the company filed for bankruptcy one year after release.

Another mystery is the Sega Dreamcast. A gaming console that was released in the ‘90s.

It surpassed all its competitors and was the first gaming system with online capabilities. Yet the Dreamcast sold miserably and was discontinued after two years.

No matter how great your product is, nobody will buy it if they don’t see the value. It’s your job to remind them.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach