Have you seen the latest cool thing? They just don't stop coming, do they. In this case I'm writing about a product called Leap Motion (leapmotion.com). It's kind of like Microsoft's Kinect, but better. Of course making Kinect better shouldn't be hard as it's pretty awful and frustrating to use. It's still in its infancy. So what makes Leap Motion cool, rather than Kinect's method of sensing you on a 2D plane (with some 3D) because you're essentially facing the Kinect sensor, Leap Motion sits below your hands and creates a 3D 'cube' about 4' square that you insert your hands into and start doing some Minority Report-style action. They claim it is 200 times more accurate than the Kinect and can track movement down to 1/100th of a millimetre. Some caveats, it's not shipping but they are taking pre-orders. Check out the video, it's pretty awesome. Like all product demos I'm SURE it's all real.
So, what's the point? Where is the business learning in Leap Motion. Well, several things:
I'm amazed that there are still useful names for URLs out there. Everyone thought that all the good words had been taken, but there are literally billions of word and letter combinations out there so don't fret if there's a URL out there for you. There is.
Start selling before your product or service is fully baked. You will be forgiven for a product lacking in features or even stability if people find it useful. What you will not be forgiven for is not updating your product to fulfill the promise you made to your customers. If you wait for perfection your customers might have moved on.
I don't know when they started on this endeavour but let's say for arguments sake they started this before the Kinect came out. We've all been in a situation where you're working on something really amazing only to have another company steal your thunder. Sometimes a REALLY BIG company.
Suddenly you get that large lump in the pit of your stomach. You think all your efforts have been wasted. In the case of Leap Motion maybe it caused them to reevaluate their product? Make it better. Take a new approach. There are other things to consider:
Maybe all you need to do is reposition your product or service.
Price it differently, perhaps more. Sell fewer but make more margin.
You would be amazed how ill-informed people are out there. Just because you have heard about what your competition is doing does not mean anyone else has. You are hyper aware of your business. I joke that articles in newspapers about businesses is really just there for other businesses to think, "Oh shit, how'd they get that publicity." Trust me, one newspaper article rarely translates into business.
But if you're working on a 3D hand gesture device, now is the time to panic.
Have you ever thought of throwing in the towel after your competition beats you to the punch? Tell me about it.
Paul Chato has been many things: a graphic designer, programmer, comedian, head of network TV comedy, game producer, 3D animator, playwright, event host, director and anything else that matches his fancy. Most of the time he is a managing partner at Your Web Department and is most excited about LiveBuild™. Check out LiveBuild
If your YWD website includes a blog, we have a little surprise for you: the URLs used by the blog posts from now on will be considerably shorter. Instead of a long string of letters and digits, we're only using a simple number for each argument used in the post URLs now.
In addition, spaces in the titles – which are also part of the post URL, as here at Your Web Department we're very SEO-conscious! – are being automatically replaced by hyphens. That's because web browsers replace a space in any web address with a "%20" in the address bar. So for example instead of "My%20Post%20Title", YWD will now display "My-Post-Title" in the browser's address bar, and that's also what will be used when linking to the post from the various social bookmarking services.
The changes above took effect early this morning, so previous blog changes were not affected in order to preserve SEO, Facebook comments, etc.
By the way, does your website have a blog? You may consider adding one to your website. Gustavo makes some compelling arguments for that on this blog post.
The Blog tool comes standard with the SmallBiz and The Works YWD plans, and can also be added a la carte even to the Basic plan.
Flavio Mester is a graphic designer as well as a systems analyst (in a distant life he was an architect). A founding partner of Your Web Department, he's responsible for the design and development of all the YWD website management platform interfaces. Flavio Mester on Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn