Whatever your art, craft or business, and whatever your interest in reaching customers, core aspects of your products or services are probably not going to change no matter what you learn about audience or customer preferences. Even when cash-rich corporations like Microsoft or Google decide to enter new markets, they still tend to favor businesses that reflect core interests, leverage strengths or offer an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
Microsoft doesn’t make a ToastBox because there’s nothing to be gained by entering the toaster market — or at least nothing to be gained that can’t be gained by other, more synergistic means. Google doesn’t make a Fish Finder because there’s no way to tie Google’s advertising and search business to the echolocation of catfish or crappies. Both companies have the muscle to enter any market they want to enter, but even if an exec proved a profit could be made it’s unlikely they would pull the trigger.
Why? Because somewhere along the line a simple question would be asked: How does Product X fit with our goals as a company? If it couldn’t be shown that the ToastBox or Fish Finder was part of the company’s mission, the product would be shelved and resources devoted to something else. [ Read more ]