“Apple Computer’s recent domination of the digital music environment provides a surprising example of the disadvantages of being first to market. The innovative computer company that has become a leading force in the music space appears to have built a core strength around figuring out how to succeed at being a deliberate and very smart second (or even third) to market,” John Boddie writes for Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.
“Indeed, with such prominent early exceptions as the mouse and the graphical user interface, Apple has rarely succeeded because of an appreciable first-to-market advantage. NEC beat Apple to the notebook computer, and Rio and Eiger Labs both had MP3 players long before the iPod was ever introduced. Sony’s ACID, Cakewalk’s Pyro, and others offered desktop music-editing software before Apple ever released its option,” Boddie writes. “Despite this seeming disadvantage, Apple has managed to lead these markets because it has been able to initiate several new-market disruptions in music and computing, including iTunes, iMovie, and GarageBand, the company’s eighteen-month-old music-editing software suite.”
“In addition to clearly disrupting the desktop studio production environment with such products as GarageBand, Apple continues to expand toward new media markets. Apple has announced plans to support popular, prerecorded radio shows called podcasts on iTunes. We expect GarageBand to follow with podcast-editing tools. Apple has also received multiple requests to release, through its iTunes service, new music that can be edited using GarageBand. If Apple decides to go this route, we can expect another round of explosive, new-market growth in desktop studio production, no doubt handled with the same savvy attention to marketing, design, and ease of use that the company has recently displayed,” Boddie writes.
Full article here.