Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our Blue Ocean

I love Nintendo. I vividly remember the Christmas of 1988 (I was 6), when my grandparents bought an NES for my brother and me. This week's Fortune Magazine has an interesting article about Nintendo, and how they came back from trailing Microsoft and Sony with mediocre Gamecube sales in 2001 to trouncing them with phenomenal sales of the DS in 2004 and the Wii in 2006. Nintendo has sold two Wiis for every Xbox 360 and four for every PlayStaion3.

What's interesting to me in the article is the approach that Nintendo took when creating the Wii. CEO, Satoru Iwata explains "We are not competing against Sony or Microsoft. We are battling the indifference of people who have no interest in video games". He goes on to explain that they are creating a blue ocean (new markets) rather than enter the red ocean (bloody competition). The article gives another examples of a company that created a blue ocean. There's always been coffee, but Starbucks gave us the coffee experience.

I think that for a startup to be successful, it too must create a blue ocean. At MadKast we think that we are creating a new approach to sharing blog articles. Some could argue that it's really a red ocean since there are several other companies that provide a subset of our functionality; however, I think that our approach is revolutionary enough to call it a blue ocean. Current blog sharing widgets like addthis target hard-core technology people since these people are the only ones that really use social bookmarking tools. Sharethis allows users to easily email a blog post; however, it doesn't provide the blogger with any analytics on what is being shared and a user has to enter in the email address of the person they want to share with, their own email address, and their name every time they send an article.

We hope to expand blog sharing to include people who have no interest in technology. They want an easy, convenient, and standard way to share a blog post using more standard mediums like email, instant messenger, and text message. Of course, for those technology people, we'll include all the social bookmarking sites as well. And of course, we'll provide the blogger with detailed analytics of what is being shared.

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