Twitter has been telling developers for months to stop “filling holes” in their product and start innovating. Pretty big words coming from a company who is now reaping the benefits of 3rd party development efforts and plagued by downtime.
There is an interesting difference between filling holes and innovation is often the application of the product or service. For instance, the very public issues with the iPhone 4 (which I now own) are ‘magically’ solved by the Apple produced bumper case. The fact that the product solves an issue that shouldn’t even be there in the first place rubs me the wrong way.
Build, Build, Build
In contrast though, there are some real opportunities in similar market categories. For instance I have a burning desire to buy a case for the iPhone 4 that is equipped with a threaded hole compatible with tripod stands.
I also know that I can’t be the only one who has this need because the picture quality on the new handset is equal to a flip cam and mid-level point and shoot camera. So why is there no product on the market? Time & Demand.
Time after a product launch is logical, and eventually goes away. But what about demand? I mentioned that there must be some level of demand for this based on quality, audience and usage. However gauging actual demand for a product is a daunting task and products that don’t fill holes cone with an added level of risk.
So is your product or service filling holes or innovating? If it’s filling holes, how can you more clearly define your value proposition?
By the I wrote this entire post on my new iPhone 🙂