If Not HP, Then Who?

Kyle Baxter, responding to Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?:

Let’s consider what Apple’s done. They have the best hardware, the best software, and their prices are lower than competing, lower-quality products, due to Apple’s supply chain strategy, all while their margins are larger. That’s difficult to compete with, and HP has effectively pulled out their white flag.

If not HP, then who? Google-Motorola?

Here’s the problem: We have an industry full of “me-too’s.” Everyone in the smartphone and post-PC market sees Apple’s success and copies the features without the soul. They don’t understand the why behind the what.

So here’s how you start: Define what issue you are trying to resolve. That in itself limits the scope to something that’s solvable. The TouchPad, Xoom, and other tablets don’t solve anything better than the iPad does.

Once you have that problem, solve the heck out of it! Make it so unequivocally great that the iPad can’t touch it.

That’s what Microsoft did in the 90s.

They didn’t build a better operating system than Apple. What they did was solve the problem companies needing tools they could run their businesses on with Windows and Office.

Apple was in a unique position with the iPad. They didn’t need to solve a problem because they had the consumer appeal and the ecosystem in place. Most companies can’t do that.

So I don’t know who can solve it, but step one is this: ask yourself “what problem are we trying to solve?”

August 22, 2011