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AidenRafi

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FASTLANE INSIDER
Mar 1, 2017
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Sydney
Hey Guys,

I am looking to produce a smart watch with a twist.

Basically I have done research on the market and seen a need. The need is based on the competitions weak execution and negative feedback online.

Currently I am scrolling through Ali Baba looking at all the different manufacturers available to me who are able to provide OEM and ODM services. Should I be looking at anything else other then user ratings, amount of sales transactions and years active?

Should I be looking anywhere outside of Ali Baba for smart watch manufacturers, or outside of China?

In terms of designing the product. Is there any supplementary material I can use to improve my knowledge on what I should be thinking about when briefing a designer?

Thank you guys!
 

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Late Bloomer

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I think the business risks of your idea are even bigger than the technical challenges.

If your smart watch would sell to the upper half of the market, you'll have to outperform Apple at convincing people that you have a really great, feature-packed, super cool smart watch with lots of third party software available.

If your smart watch runs Android, you have to have something very clearly superior, and sustainably so, to the best from companies like Samsung; or, something dirt cheap but good enough, that won't be undercut by other bottom feedesr doing a search on Alibaba.

If you don't run Android, you have a chicken and egg problem of getting an app ecosystem going. Taizen, Blackberry OS, and Windows Mobile all failed to get traction in the far bigger market of smart phones, all of these backed by multibillion dollar companies. How will you get people to make so much software for your new, incompatible with everything watch so that people will buy it?

Is there any way you could make an accessory that works with Apple or Android watches, instead of the watch itself? An accessory that captures some kind of useful or fun or interesting data, uploads it the cloud, and gives people something to show off on Facebook and Twitter? That seems to me like a far less risky venture than trying to get a new type of smartwatch into sustainable profit territory.

This advice comes from someone who ran a software development team inside a Fortune 500 hardware company, a company that decided they didn't want to be in that software business any more. EVERYONE in the industry who saw my boss's pitches, agreed we had by far the coolest, most unique, most advanced technology concepts in the industry. Despite that, NO sales were every made of the system!!! The hardware giant spun off the software division of hundreds of people and put millions of dollars of funding into the new company. The instant the corporate split was done, the owners of the new company shut down everything from the parent company but kept the money! I was one of the first booted out the door! That was a life lesson that COOL is not enough unless it meets a true, proven demand and has a great marketing plan!
 
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OP
AidenRafi

AidenRafi

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Mar 1, 2017
26
28
25
Sydney
I think the business risks of your idea are even bigger than the technical challenges.

If your smart watch would sell to the upper half of the market, you'll have to outperform Apple at convincing people that you have a really great, feature-packed, super cool smart watch with lots of third party software available.

If your smart watch runs Android, you have to have something very clearly superior, and sustainably so, to the best from companies like Samsung; or, something dirt cheap but good enough, that won't be undercut by other bottom feedesr doing a search on Alibaba.

If you don't run Android, you have a chicken and egg problem of getting an app ecosystem going. Taizen, Blackberry OS, and Windows Mobile all failed to get traction in the far bigger market of smart phones, all of these backed by multibillion dollar companies. How will you get people to make so much software for your new, incompatible with everything watch so that people will buy it?

Is there any way you could make an accessory that works with Apple or Android watches, instead of the watch itself? An accessory that captures some kind of useful or fun or interesting data, uploads it the cloud, and gives people something to show off on Facebook and Twitter? That seems to me like a far less risky venture than trying to get a new type of smartwatch into sustainable profit territory.

This advice comes from someone who ran a software development team inside a Fortune 500 hardware company, a company that decided they didn't want to be in that software business any more. EVERYONE in the industry who saw my boss's pitches, agreed we had by far the coolest, most unique, most advanced technology concepts in the industry. Despite that, NO sales were every made of the system!!! The hardware giant spun off the software division of hundreds of people and put millions of dollars of funding into the new company. The instant the corporate split was done, the owners of the new company shut down everything from the parent company but kept the money! I was one of the first booted out the door! That was a life lesson that COOL is not enough unless it meets a true, proven demand and has a great marketing plan!
Hey mate, I understand why you are saying however the product would not be in direct competition with Apple. The product will be differentiated based on its purpose of use. There is only one direct competitor in the market and they are not doing a great job.
 

Late Bloomer

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Hey mate, I understand why you are saying however the product would not be in direct competition with Apple. The product will be differentiated based on its purpose of use. There is only one direct competitor in the market and they are not doing a great job.
If your difference is something people will definitely pay for, more power to you! I'm saying why I would be want to proceed very cautiously and systematically, and be prepared to abandon the idea if there's not a low-risk, low-cost way to prove its profit potential without massive investment. Pebble succeeded on Kickstarter, maybe you could too. You are up against some tremendous giants here in a hotly contested niche market.
 
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AidenRafi

AidenRafi

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Mar 1, 2017
26
28
25
Sydney
If your difference is something people will definitely pay for, more power to you! I'm saying why I would be want to proceed very cautiously and systematically, and be prepared to abandon the idea if there's not a low-risk, low-cost way to prove its profit potential without massive investment. Pebble succeeded on Kickstarter, maybe you could too. You are up against some tremendous giants here in a hotly contested niche market.
Thanks for the advice mate.
I actually found out yesterday that one of the big players in the tech industry are coming out with the exact same product in the next 2 months.
I am going to hold back and take a seat to see what they offer to the market. Then re assess if i can provide any unique value in comparison to them.
I feel kind of bummed out about it to be honest.

In the meantime i am going to get started on another idea i have had in my head for the past 2 weeks.
 

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