So often we have that big idea that is going to take on the competition. The one that’s going to pay off the mortgage or achieve the Tim Ferris dream 4 Hour Work Week. We spend time with business plans, we buy domains, design web sites, adding widgets and constructing SEO strategies.
After weeks, or months, of planning and building everyone we speak to thinks it’s a good idea and is in anticipation of our launch. We get to the day, we have a shiny new web site, brimming with the latest in online functionality, pricing set to take on the market. Yet, we fail to make headway against the competition. We are cheaper, better looking and have more functionality, what’s gone wrong?
Usually, it comes down to content.
The handheld tablet market, is a great example of how we often forget about the importance of content in our new business ventures.
With the release of iPad 2 the race is on to compete with Apple. Considered by some to be a fashion statement rather than a serious business tool. Or just for games by IT types, I’m sorry but doesn’t the Blackberry come with games pre-installed, rather than the iPhone or iPad which has none. Why is it then, that the competition is finding it so difficult to keep up, let alone market a serious challenger?
Is it design?
There is no arguement that Apple produce some beautifully crafted products. Yet it is well known that most of this design is not based on user testing or workshops. And a great looking product would find it hard to maintain market lead without other factors contributing.
The iPhone and iPad have had some issues that would have seen lesser products struck from the shelves. The first iPad lack of a camera would have allowed many to leapfrog it on this function alone. It’s lack of support for Flash had many doubting it’s future.
Hardly. Apple products are renowned for their premium pricing. If you want style, you expect to pay for it. Other tablets have been available on, easy to afford, contract based charging models similair to mobiles and still not made headway.
No, the real reason for the iPads success is content. Very much like a web site, it doesn’t matter how good the platform or technology, it is all about the content.
With over 80,000 iPad Apps available, from a single market place, the competition is finding it tough. This is just 12 months after launch of the first iPad. Compare that with the Motorola Xoom on the Adnroid tablet platform, it had only 50 applications available a month after it launched earlier this year.
Nokia, HP, Motorola and Blackberry make some great devices. Google’s Android platform is the darling of many cheaper tablets, but is plagued with a low quality and splintered App Market place. Even the Blackberry PlayBook has potential, especially when sold into an Enterprise setting where Blackberry is standard issue. But without developer support and the applications to make the devices useful, they will have more potential as corporate bookends than as an iPad competitor.
There is literally an application for anything you can think of on the Apple platform. Want to edit video, read a book, share files, make a podcast, watch video or even TV. Write documents, edit spreadsheets, present a sales pitch, attend a webinar or make Skype calls. Yes games too. This is a device that serves multiple functions, can as easily be used by a toddler as it can by a retiree and still be useful to a high powered executive in a board meeting.
The one thing that takes the iPad head and shoulders above the competition is the thousands of quality applications that are it’s content. So when you look to launch your next online business venture don’t get caught up in the functionality. Stop trying to find that perfect WordPress plugin or get caught tweaking the site design just a little more. Think about the quality and quantity of content you are going to deliver. It’s the part that usually gets left until last, when it should be the first.
What’s your content strategy?