Re: ECON: Creating a market

James Rogers (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 02:54:11 -0800

At 10:09 AM 1/2/97 +0100, you wrote:
>> >There was no market for Personal Computers
>> >when they were developed. Neither for the Mac. They created their own
>> >market.
>> I often hear such statements, but never really understand what is meant
>> So what does it mean, to create a market where there wasn't any?
>When the first PC's where made you couldn't go into a store and buy one.
>You couldn't even imagine what it was going to be used for. Spreedsheets
>didn't exist so you couldn't use them. Wordprocessors didn't exist either
>etc. etc. (i'm making an oversimplification here) So therefore there wasn't
>any market for it. You didn't know you had the need.
>When they hit the market the use for the technology gradually grew and
>hence the market grew.

The distinction here is that most new products fill a commonly recognized
need. Microwave ovens were in response to the need of people to heat things
fast. In the case of microwave ovens, the producer was responding to the
needs of the consumer.

In the case of a few products (tentatively PCs here), the producer is
creating a product that is new, but as yet does not fill any commonly
recognized need. The tough part here is making the consumer aware of the
fact that they need this product, even if they aren't aware of the need.

A good example of this is Post-It (tm) notes. Infinitely used and useful,
but no one was aware of the need until the product became available. I
understand that 3M (the original producer) bought the patent for pocket change.

-James Rogers