Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First Movers: Strive through the narrow gate

Early last week, Amazon.com announced the release of the Kindle, the latest device for e-books, thus taking over the market space once occupied by the Sony Reader, which I've seen a couple of times at Borders in Palo Alto.

It's hard to say just which e-reader is going to win out in the battle, but it's not the first time that Sony has come out with a "first-mover" product to be later taken over by competitors with better resources and positioning.

Also true for the Blu-ray, which is in fierce battle now with the HD-DVD. The last I heard, Blu-ray was in the lead and then HD-DVD was winning, mostly measured by number of units sold. Does anyone know where this is now? There is a fair amount of noise around this subject.

I'm definitely not making any eye-opening comments here but I dare say that Sony has had to struggle really hard to keep their brand on the forefront, which confirms that first-mover advantage doesn't always mean that you've won the game.

Even though Sony revolutionized the music market with the Walkman roughly about 20 years ago Apple came and trumped them with the trendy, life-style icon, the iPod and didn't just stop there.

It just seems that whenever Sony comes up with something, no matter which market, somebody else always seems to come up with something better.

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