We are "on a roll!" Another new market category was announce yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show. Cisco's CEO John Chambers talked about his company's expectations from "home telepresence".
This is one more example of the creation of a new category, the topicI've been discussing this week.
Note the pattern: Some unknown person invents the name for the new market and uses that in some communication. The pot begins to warm up as a few others try the new name. As others follow, a blog or two picks it up. And then a credible giant uses it and presto, the category is branded. The mass media picks up on the giant's words, repeats and embellishes them, blogs flood the news channels and the world agrees this is the "next great thing." Who gets credit for "coining" the new name will be debated in coming years on Wikipedia.
Whether or not it becomes a giant market full of successful products remains to be seen. (The "home entertainment system" has sunk many a product marketing manager since the arrival of hi-fi and television half a century ago.) But a new wave has definitely arrived, of that there is no doubt.
THE LESSON FOR STARTUPS
This new category is full of room for startup ideas. It is ripe for plucking low hanging fruit before others do.
A giant has validated the existence of a new market for the masses.
That means a clever startup founder has a chance to find an idea worth nine figures, exactly the large numbers desired by the giant VCs.
This morning I was talking wit Patrick Chung, partner of NEA about what he and his partners are looking for. He said his large (and very successful, I might add) venture capital firm was looking for startups that had very large $ ROI futures, the ones with a potential size that allows a large VC firm to put in large amounts of cash and get a return of ten times their investment.
Mass consumer markets offer such potential. It is what gives real potential to tomorrow's Facebooks and Googles. Startups can exploit that.
BOTTOM LINE: The great entrepreneurs look for giant new markets to exploit. The fresh category gets a name. "Home telepresence" is a new one. There are a lot more emerging from the current CES. Look for those waves as they begin to rise. Monitor them so you don't enter too soon. Don't be concerned about getting "first mover advantage." Instead aim to be "first to get it right." To do that you'll need to build an unfair competitive advantage. Others have -- people with less experience and skill than you have -- so get going, you can do it!
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!