You might not notice, but I don’t post much about market unit growth. That’s because 1) the big markets are known and because 2) the fluctuations matter little. (Today they matter little; the time to plan for *today’s* market growth in China or Brazil was years ago). Regardless of the period-to-period changes, to succeed in mobile devices, you still need a great product to compete, and that means great people, great R&D, and great marketing to communicate it. That’s why I loved how Horace Dediu, writing on his site Asymco, put it:
This understanding of the maximum potential of a market — its highest level of user adoption — is crucial for product development. Paying attention to short term sales trends blinds you to the power of the job your product is hired to do. Your product’s purpose is not to be sold, but to be hired. If your product is powerful enough, it can be hired for universal jobs and it should be desired by all consumers, not just the fickle.
Being patient for growth means that you can release features when the majority of users can absorb them, not just when early adopters choose to play with them. Often, early adopters offer feedback which is off-putting to later, mainstream adopters. In engineering and design one has to always make compromises. The right balance at the right time avoids overshooting a market or under-performing against competitors.
His other point, of course, is about market timing of features. I might have more to say about that topic in future posts.