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Yet more proof that we all suck at predicting product success

Yet more proof that the Sony-promoted Blu-ray format is winning over HD-DVD.

I love seeing stuff like this, mainly because how wrong it proves "consensus." When the DVD format wars started a few years ago, almost everyone I knew was so confident while saying that Sony was going to lose this war, and that Blu-ray was Betamax repeated.

I didn't know enough about the area to have a strong opinion one way or the other, but figured that all the blogs, magazines, B-School case studies, etc. couldn't be wrong.

But as a friend of mine recently said, "....ecosystems are so complicated, value-chains so complex and different companies execute at such different level and with so much variance that its stupid to be confident in your predictions."

I mean even up to a 4 years ago, I heard enough people say: "Its stupid to try to make money from web applications with advertising as the only strategy." Yeah! :)

Comments

Isaac said…
I know this is orthogonal to your actual point, but...

I think think that there wasn't for long a question that effectively monetizing "people searching for something" was possible. It was (no?) one of the very first seriously profitable internet businesses. But at least during *my* experience of the internet boom, the prevailing exuberant belief of the time was that "monetizing eyeballs" was the easy bit---after building the killer app to win all those eyeballs in the first place. It's really that model which turned out to be impossible at the time: and to this day remains a struggle.

Compare display ad CPMs and search ad CPMs. There's your problem right there.

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Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)