Yesterday we used Snapchat, Instagram and Candy Crush as three examples of apps that were just as much about great marketing as they are great products. The implication being that there are many good products that failed because the marketing didn’t connect. Today we’ll present three examples of that.
Let’s start with a major product from a major brand that failed: Google Reader. True story — a year ago an excited friend pitched me that “Jeff, this a billion dollar idea. What if we could invent a way to keep track of websites, so you can get all the latest updates from the websites you follow all in one place?” LOL. That product exists of course; it’s called RSS and it’s already widely supported by our industry. Yet, very few outside the tech world know what it is; even when its leading product was from a titan like Google (Reader was shut down in June 2013).
My start-up, feecha, organizes content from websites, blogs, events databases, etc. into neighbourhoods so you can easily see what’s happening in the area you care about. Part of that is utilizing RSS feeds. When we contacted bloggers to get their permission to use their content, we were shocked to discover that most hadn’t even heard of RSS.
Has there been any product like Google Reader and RSS that added so much value yet remains largely unknown? Lack of awareness is a marketing issue, and one that the RSS community has yet to figure out.