Friday, November 11, 2011

Isis Thinks Google Wallet Competition is a Good Thing

Mobile wallet providers
Michael Abbott, the CEO of carrier-backed mobile payments joint venture Isis, has an interesting take on rival Google Wallet: "It's the best thing that could happen."

You might think that an odd thing for one competitor to say about another major competitor. But early in the development of a brand-new industry, it actually can help to have multiple substantial contestants promoting the new market.

That is helpful because it reduces the perceived risk, on the part of potential users and customers. Any company executive that has tried to explain "what we do" in a market with no other providers or competitors will immediately grasp the concept. 

Abbott argues that competition from multiple parties is a good thing, early on, as it generates greater consumer awareness and can convince many other essential providers in the ecosystem to participate. Google Wallet is good for mobile payments

One is reminded that Apple under Steve Jobs did not conduct market research to develop new products, as Jobs' philosophy always was that people could not provide meaningful feedback about products they never have seen. 

That's another aspect of new markets, for new products consumers do not have experience using. Since people may not even be aware of why they need a product, it can be hard to sell such products. Having more contestants in such a market contributes to the overall evangelization process that creates better understanding on the part of users of why they "need" a product. 

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