Snapchat, the new-ish social network which allows users to super-impose cartoon dog faces on to their own, has just committed suicide.
This is an adjusted version of the original post that was first published on LinkedIn.
Last weekend the company rebranded to Snap Inc and released Spectacles – a pair of glasses with cameras on.
We’ve seen this before, with Google Glass. Google created a wearable internet, which in theory is amazing, but the problem was:
People don’t want to wear stuff. Any stuff.
And, when they do wear stuff, other people don’t like the fact that they might be filmed. And official government people don’t like them because people could be filming official stuff.
You need to be wary of other people and their stuff.
Snap Inc has died because:
1. People already have sunglasses.
I have a pair and it took me a long time to find some I was happy with.
I’m unlikely to wear some that are the wrong shape just because they have a camera. And that leads to a problem because I am not unique.
Snap is now competing with RayBan, Porsche, Maui Jim, Calvin Klein, and so many more.
2. The cost of failure is too high.
Manufacturing anything isn’t cheap. Snapchat is valued at about $20 billion and is funded by investment.
People who pay money in expect to take money out. As people don’t buy these glasses investors will get itchy feet. Snap Inc will then have to turn to advertising and that will annoy its existing customer base.
3. It didn’t learn.
I mean, Google fails all the time with little projects here and there, but it can afford to because its .com product keeps ad spend rolling in.
Furthermore, making these glasses moves Snap away from its core product. If you’re going to extend to a new product line, in any business, you need an existing market to tap into and enough revenue from your existing lines to support it.
Snap doesn’t have either. It’s gambling on a product that has failed before and it won’t be able to pay for the fallout.
This is why I don’t cover new networks in training sessions and don’t up-sell clients on the newest fads. Use what works already and you won’t go wrong.
RIP Snapchat, I hardly knew ye.
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