Finally, Someone Else Gets It: It’s About The Ecosystem

A new blog post on the Harvard Business Review blog discusses why the iPad and the Kindle Fire are succeeding, and why other tablets are struggling. It’s simple:

It is about the ecosystem.

I’ve made this point many times (for example, here, here, here and here). Devices with technical specifications that are superior continue to flounder. Operating systems that could be arguably considered better than iOS have stumbled, one has failed outright (WebOS) and another is dying (Playbook). The ecosystem argument explains the demise of Symbian and Blackberry and the struggles of Windows Phone. It explains why the iPod, which competed against far cheaper devices with more storage or more features, almost completely dominated it’s respective market space. It explains why the Mac struggled for decades, Linux has never made a dent, and the Windows PC took over the desktop. Being “better” doesn’t matter if you can do more with a “lesser” product.

Until “the other guys” wake up to the issue of their ecosystems, people will continue to buy devices like the iPad, because it isn’t about the device. It is about what the device could do.


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