Making a Market vs. Taking From It

Another good post from Seth Goden, this time discussing the difference between Making a Market vs. Taking From It. His examples are clever in that they illustrate his point but may not be the obvious way you would think about the concept.

Making the market: "By combining protein and chocolate, we've developed a new food that's both dessert and dinner" - The first thing I think of here is the Snickers Marathon bar; I'm not sure I totally believe it's invented a new market, but then again maybe I just didn't buy into it.

Taking from it - "This has a touch screen, too, but you can get it from Verizon" - Since the iPhone came out, there have been a number of these that all feel like runner ups for people that can't get out of their contract or don't want to leave Verizon for the better service. Pretty much none of them, though, have pushed the market forward (though the BlackBerry Storm might). On the other hand, the T-Mobile G1 is the cell phone version of making the market - by taking some of the best of the iPhone and the Blackberry and creating a hybrid market that appeals in a different way.

The decision to make a new market or take from it will be based on many things - how strong your product is, how appealing it is, whether it is only ready to piggyback on existing success - there are probably more brands & products that piggyback (and to success) but it's the inventors that we'll remember.