Firms trying to tap into new markets for growth often fall into the traps of putting resources into wooing existing customers and investing heavily in value-added offerings. But this won’t get them to blue oceans.
When it comes to building a blue ocean, what organisation wouldn’t want to have an offering like Google’s Search division? Its search engine is easy, fast, accurate – with an underlying algorithm that instantaneously sorts and ranks documents, images, and videos, making people more productive in finding information than most ever imagined. Everyone from first graders to senior citizens use it. It’s even become a verb. With nearly 65 percent of world market share, Google created a veritable blue ocean. Then there’s Google Glass. Announced to the public in 2012, it was selected by Time Magazine as one of the “Best Inventions of the Year”. With this revolutionary digital eyewear, Google intended to create a new mass market for wearable computers. However, the initial excitement soon gave way to disappointment. Priced at $1,500 and launched with great fanfare, people found Glass more like a high-tech high-end toy than a groundbreaking killer app gadget that will revolutionise the human experience. And as wearable tech its futuristic look tended to side more with the weird than the fashionable not to mention the serious privacy issues it raised. Less than two years after the launch of the prototype, Glass was sent back to the lab for redesign.What went wrong? And what should the team behind Google Glass’s reset do differently to avoid a repeat scenario and create instead a blue ocean like Google’s search engine?