Chasing Apple’s Ghosts

Samsung unveiled a $299 Smart Watch today. We’ve been hearing for so long that Apple’s working on a watch device, that my reaction was sort of, meh. –Of course, smart-watches will finally start to roll out fast and furious as competitors try and get out in front of Apple.

Hmmm. You know? That’s not a bad strategy.

Perhaps, it’s brilliant.

Let rumors fly about what you’re doing, leave enough heat at the door as to what you’re up to, but only the what. Now how. Not when. And not for whom(knowing Apple—everyone). Apple can always be counted on for the, “we think there’s a lot of opportunity to improve on X,” but often, little beyond that.

Then sit back and watch the market mature, as you refine your software and hardware—your current and future competitors boarding up their homes with plywood and duct tape so their business doesn’t get washed away when Apple comes to market with its iFillintheblank. And damn it, the iThing doesn’t even resemble the thing you thought you were chasing.

Instead of simply letting competitors blatantly copy, send them scrambling in front of you, committing, putting skin in the game on expensive hardware and software, R&D, and what you bet will be a poorer experience. When you come to market with a better customer experience, in position to delight—everyone else is forced to retool, and spend more money to fix—or scrap even—their poor decisions made in a mad scramble, chasing Apple’s ghosts.