There are companies leading their own industries, and there are followers. Let's see what makes the difference between those companies.
Nintendo is the leader in the game console industry. In the past, they used to be a big name in game consoles, but they were losing ground to competitors during the past few years. While other console makers were pursuing ways to make images more real and adding HD display support, Nintendo completely ignored the trends and came up with a totally new feature: motion sensors. They redefined the game's original purpose; being fun to play. As a result, they reclaimed market share.
Status Quo is Regression
As I wrote in the "Whose Customers? " issue, when you start selling hit products, there will most definitely be copycat products. In fact, you can buy motion-sensing gadgets on other game consoles today. What makes Nintendo different from others is that they did not rely on one hit product. While others were catching up, Nintendo was developing yet another new feature: naked eye 3D display. There are questions about how long Nintendo can keep coming up with new toys, but hitting the market with new products one after another is very interesting to watch.
One Step Ahead
It is true that making copycat products is easier than to keep coming up with new kinds of products. It is also true that repeatedly releasing blow-your-mind products is an efficient way to keep market share. You might want to know which is a better tactic, but the important thing is to be able to predict what will be and plan ahead using those predictions. In Nintendo's case, they most likely knew there would be copycat products. So, they decided to push themselves forward by creating a naked eye 3D display rather than hanging on to the past, continuing to sell motion-sensing gadgets. This is how you stay ahead of others.
© September, 2011