I’m sitting on a decent sized chip stack in a poker tournament and digging through my Engadget backlog. Gee, do they post every product sent to them by the PR muffins? It sure seems like they aren’t exercising much editorial filter these days.
Anyway I thought they made an excellent point about the iPod Nano 1GB version moving downmarket and cannibalizing the iPod shuffle. The shuffle, if you’ve read my previous posts, crushed the rest of the music player market and instantly became the leader. At least one portable music player maker (Creative) left the market entirely, and Dell just announced they’re killing off their product as well.
Now, by bringing the unbelievably cool iPod Nano downmarket, they’re cannibalizing themselves. They are crushing their competition, those damn bastards who make that little, less-cool-than-the-Nano music player….Apple.
Apple just pushed themselves (Apple) out of the market.
Now that’s a lesson in how you compete: cannibalize your own products before somebody else does. What Steve Jobs knows, though, is that he’s only one lagging product from being displaced. As my business partner Dan would say, "He’s got the Fear", and he’s got it good.