New products to an existing market

It is interesting to see the “Apple” effect in the startup community. It makes every software startup think the first employee they should hire is a designer who can also “do some coding". It is true that it’s easier for a designer to learn to code than for a coder to learn design.

Apple's inspiration goes far beyond showing that "design matters". It shows that an existing market—even a commoditized one—can be readily seized,

If user expectations are lifted high enough, they don’t want to go back to other alternatives. They want to pay for the new, cool thing. The key point here is that people don’t want to look back or go backward. I can think of a few examples…

  •  I never thought I would pay more than $90 a month for a mobile phone. But, I don’t want to go back to my old “free” phone even if it is $65 cheaper per month.
    Strongest. It makes me feel happy about paying a higher price.
  • I use Windows 7. I don’t want to go back to Vista or XP.
    Medium, Cost can be justified and it’s a relatively painless transition.
  • I have tried Outlook 2010 beta. Now I don’t want to go back to Outlook 2007.
    Medium. Paying the business version price is painful but the upgrades are probably worth it.
  • When 42” LCD televisions were selling for $3,000 I never planned to buy one. I now have a 52” LCD television in my living room and I don’t ever want to buy a smaller one again.
    High to medium, I paid $500 for my last television. I paid more than $1,700 for the new one less than two years ago.
  • Blu-ray.
    Medium to high, I don’t want to go back to DVD even if DVD players do only cost only $25 now.