Innovation and Market Success

by Krishna on June 11, 2012

I was throwing out some old paper when I saw these pages from the March 2001 edition of eCompany magazine. The first image below is an ad for the Handspring Visor and it is offering you the ability to have your digital handheld work as a camera, phone or MP3 player. The other one is a Palm cheat sheet, showing where you can get apps for your PalmPilot. It talks about 10 million Palm-based devices, 10,000 Palm OS-based applications and thousands of developers working on apps.

This happened 11 years ago. It is obvious now that the creators of Palm were never able to convert their huge advantage in handhelds and apps to a dominant position in smartphones. But a rational person making a bet on the market would have chosen Palm at that point in time. It took another 6 years before the iPhone came to market. One lesson is that sometimes, staying the leader in a market segment that has the potential for significant technology advances and/or price reductions is not easy.

Handspring Visor

Scan of an ad for an entirely outdated product!

Palm Cheat Sheet from ecompany March 2001

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