Raising questions

The thumbnail version:

  • A report about finding a market niche
  • Also about product focus
  • But it raises questions

The full version:

An article (interview) on the Roland blog today tells the story behind a printer that found a market niche. It also makes a good case for how a small business can do well by narrowing its product focus, in this particular case, to one item—printed slate plaques.

Don’t give away your product and business secrets!

The article by Ben Fellowes is well worth reading from a small business strategy perspective. I’m not going to enlarge on it here because I couldn’t address it properly in a limited post—you should read the full article for the details.

But in addition to the interesting topic, there’s another aspect to the article that’s a bit puzzling. It raises questions . . . Why, if you have found a niche with very little competition, would you brag about it in a magazine article that targets your competitors? And why would you disclose exactly how to make the product and who your target customers are? In short, why would you give away your competitive advantage for the sake of a bit of publicity? Vanity?

I think there’s a lesson to be learnt here. If you build a great product that fills a niche market with no competition, shut up  and milk it for all it’s worth. Don’t invite competition, and definitely don’t tell them how you make and market the product.