Last week I talked about product differentiation and used drones as a case study. One cautionary point highlighted was the risk of being outwitted and beaten by Chinese manufacturers. Well I came across an article on CNBC about a chap (Jack) who does exactly that.
Jack finds trends online and on Kickstarter and explore how he could make money from them. He also realised the need to be different, in his case it was selling in a better way than his competitors (I translate that as marketing and leveraging social media) – the competitors getting to market first wasn’t good enough.
There is acknowledgment from the original creators (Mark) of the product discussed, Fidget Cube that copying is a phenomena that cannot be beaten. They made things worse by hitting manufacturing issues. He argued that they make the better product and so will win the war. But you have to wonder if people will care. As discussed in my last post, I believe branding is just as important in deciding the likely winner (if it’s not patent…). But Jack raises a very good point – the product itself doesn’t matter. If he can find stuff that people like he can pivot to a new product and replicate the same strategy. Make money quick and then move on to the next product.
The other interesting point from the article is how easy it is to trawl Alibaba, find products and make contacts with factories in China. The Internet has made this very easy for anyone to do. On top of that there is a whole industry based on selling via Amazon – Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA), with people doing very similar things. It does make you wonder if we’re over complicating a lot of things?
I’ll end with a quote from Jack in the article “I started realizing I wanted to run a company that actually sold something”. This is something I fundamentally believe people will aspire to do more of in the future. When you do, drop myself and Puls8 a line 🙂