First to Market

A video is spreading across the web that explains why Sony's Betamax ended up being defeated by JVC's VHS Cassette. It is interesting to see this video becoming viral on the day of its posting considering it is discussing technologies that are now considered obsolete.

Bill Hammack, AKA Engineer Guy, does a beautiful job of breaking down how the engineering behind a product, the marketing strategies, simple customer benefits, and the strategies behind establishing market share contribute to the success of a product. You can take a look at the video below. However, what stuck out to me most was his statement at 3:16. Bill States:

"The Betamax versus the VHS dispels the notion that simply being first to market is the most important issue."

This sent me thinking about the recent efforts of various companies trying to be first to market and the flops they have quickly become. Consider Samsung's attempt at a smart watch for fear of a future release from Apple. Of course the comparison doesn't fit perfectly because the most of the companies fighting to be first to market aren't even producing quality products like Sony did with the Betamax. However, the point still stands that a lot of companies could learn something by taking their time, analyzing markets, and keeping in mind the end user. The Betamax versus VHS story is a good example as to why.