This morning, at 10 am EST, Pebble’s homepage countdown finally finished, and pointed users to a Kickstarter campaign for their latest smartwatch, Pebble Time. Unsurprisingly, they blew through their modest target of $500,000 within 13 minutes. By 24 minutes in, they’d hit $1 million. At the time of this writing, they are at $4,526,809 and not showing any sign of slowing down. But there are a lot of questions – many about the watch itself, but also some important ones about the strategy for Pebble as a business in an increasingly competitive space.
Recently, I re-discovered an old TED talk that happens to be a longtime favorite of mine. It’s by leadership expert Simon Sinek, and is his first TEDx talk, given in 2009. It also happens to be the third most popular video on the TED website. In it, he covers what he deems a fundamental element of leadership, as it relates to advertising and other industries: that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Today, The Idiot Economist explores how this methodology applies to the Smartwatch Arms Race, which has been brewing for some time but has finally come to a head with the announcement of the Apple Watch.
For years now, the tech market has been frantically searching for “the Next Big Thing”. The phrase evolved out of traditional Apple showmanship, touting each incremental advance in its Macbook and iOS product lines. The iPhone became the celebrated poster child of modern technology and innovation, and the standard of the smartphone market. Each new flagship phone was released as “the iPhone killer”. Finally, Samsung decided to capitalize on the phrase AND release a phone that actually went toe-to-toe with the iPhone: the Samsung Galaxy, “The Next Big Thing is already here…” Now that the smartphone wars have mostly devolved to iteration vs. iteration, people are looking for the next revolution. Enter: Wearable Tech.