They say the best way to predict the future is to create it. Many people call those that create markets as visonaries while some call them lucky, whatever the case it’s truly amazing to watch it unfold.
Some examples of markets being created include the diamond kingpin De Beers which early on realized they had to create the “need” for diamonds. The “Eternity Rings” campaign came about when Russians mines were producing smaller diamonds that were not high quality. So they took 20 of these diamonds and set them into a ring and called it the “Eternity Ring.” Overnight excess diamond capacity was wrapped into a new product and a market was created.
More recently it’s been incredible to watch Apple launch the iPad. Netbooks were all the rage 18 months ago but when Apple announced the iPad in January 2010, the netbook market virtually collapsed overnight as the iPad began to ship.
The iPad is the gold standard for people that want a device that is bigger then a phone but smaller then a laptop. At first people said that lack of a keyboard, camera or USB port would make the device virtually worthless but people learned to adapt and made the iPad a massive success and in the process adding billions of dollars to Apple’s bottom line. In an instant they created the tablet computer market – something Bill Gates had hoped to do with Microsoft for many years. Now many websites are being optimized for the iPad and there’s a whole industry creating applications for it.
Creating new markets sounds easy to do but rarely happens as fast as with the iPad. The basics of the device have been tried many times before but this time Apple got it right. So what was so right this time? The easy to use graphical user interface, touch interface and App Store all played a role in making the tablet device a real segment of its own.
Since the launch of the iPad many competitors have announced similar tablet type devices but it remains to be seen if they’ll succeed like Apple. Yet Apple has created a market and everyone else is playing catch-up.