The Android phone finally ran down Blackberry RIM and jumped into the number one spot for largest market share in the valuable smart phone arena. Apple only showed small growth in percent during that period.
How did Android do it? The answer, is its open source platform. Allowing anyone with the technical expertise and know how to upgrade, improve, and modify allows the OS to be an evolving entity, rather then a traditionally static bit of code that requires periodic bits of patching before one or two big launches. All of the variations, and customizations, allowed cell phone manufacturers to inexpensively climb on board, and as the support for the OS commercially grew, there was no turning back.
Undoubtedly, there are a few lessons to be learned here.
1. Swift adaptation, in nature and in business, is important to survival. This is a story that’s repeated time and time again across every sector of our economy. The early adopters who are also early adapters survive- keeping themselves moving just ahead of the competition and the stagnation that seems to inherently come with success.
2. It’s better to be broadly appealing, then to have a niche specialization. At least in terms of total dollars. Apple and Android are gobbling up their opponents market share in mobile devices and as one time leader Blackberry tries to break out of its ‘professional device’ platform and reach out to tweens, teens, and twenty somethings, it is now playing catch up. Microsoft’s operating system and professional suites are going the same way. With tablet devices from Apple and Android launching every day, its static reliance on being ‘the’ office suite and ‘the’ operating system are coming under fire.
3. You don’t have to be the best at what you do. You just need to be able to copy it better. Microsoft got this down back at their beginning. Apple has gotten it better lately. Google’s long been an incubator for innovation (which translates to buying good ideas before they can become competitive with its own offerings). If your competitors are doing something right, something better then you, analyze, borrow, improve. *I’m not exhorting you to break copyright or trademark laws here. I don’t buy into the notion that bright ideas are singular flashes in time and then are gone- I think the bright ideas we see are simply the highlight of a long line of other progressively improving products or models. Facebook isn’t that innovative. It’s just an improvement on what we had before. Same is true with Google. With Apple. With Microsoft, and with nearly every other product you’ve experienced in your life.
Obviously a lot of the innovations are occurring online. We work with a number of startups who are marketing, selling, and advertising for things that have been around for a long time- they’re just doing it in a method that’s better then those who went before them. Look at www.Swimspot.com. First company to sell swimsuits? Nope. First company to sell swimsuits online? Nope. Are they innovating the way that swimsuits are bought and sold online? Yes.
We’re working on website launches for a couple of Los Angeles companies that we won’t be disclosing as of yet. But when we heard their ideas, we slapped ourselves up side the head, and asked why someone hadn’t thought of this before.
If you have one of those ideas, and are looking for a Los Angeles web design firm that also has the experience to develop, and market your product effectively, give us a call. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.