[FoRK] PDAs (was: Sony Reader for sale, and thoughts on e-books)

Ian Andrew Bell <hello at ianbell.com> on Fri Aug 31 12:34:56 PDT 2007

On 31-Aug-07, at 11:54 AM, Luis Villa wrote:

>>> Please forgive my cluelessness here, but *why*?  Would you try to  
>>> sell
>>> sledgehammers to soccer-moms?  Even with careful UI engineering and
>>> collaborative stakeholder-focused task-oriented blahblah design?
>>
>> Because once we do, technology businesses won't generally grow within
>> bubbles and endure massive slumps.  They'll be endurables.
>
> Niches can be perfectly enduring. You're confusing 'addresses a niche'
> (which can be enduring and quite profitable) with 'doesn't really
> address anything' (which I agree usually fails, and which I agree
> silivalley is prone to at times.)

Well, not exactly. I'm suggesting that if the only 'niche' it  
addresses is the great Silly Valley circle-jerk, then there will be  
no enduring breakthrough revenue opportunity.  Silicon Valley as a  
niche is prone to bulls and bears, but more importantly a culture of  
rapid obsolescence.

Failure is virtually assured trying to work this low point on the  
long tail.  That is, unless one defines success as making a bunch of  
money via ponzi schema a la Jeff Hawkins / Palm / Handspring.  For  
the record:  I don't.

-Ian.


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