Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Killer App vs Niche Application

One thing we can be certain about, niche markets are certainly easier to conquer than mass markets. Most of the companies at the start lean toward the mass market because of the revenue potential. Mass market, caters to a larger audience in comparison to Niche market. Mass market application is a creation of an application which does not appeal only to a particular audience or targets a particular market segment when compared with a niche market. For instance, in supermarkets where the marketer, addresses all segments of the market as though they are the same. It has a single marketing plan with the mix of product, price, and promotion and place strategies for the entire market.

Unlike Niche market, mass market uses different appeals to customers to enlarge and widen their market. It is true mass markets have more sales potential, but the resource required to capture the mass market is high. We as computer professionals forget that our main purpose is to build applications to help people make their work/jobs light. I work as a Software Engineer, developing Software for Telecom companies and Mobile Solutions. Our clients use the Computer but Computer is not their business, our client's business is Telecommunication and they use computers to help them with their business. Thus, this is one of the instances we help by building their software.

In the early 90’s we tried to get more profit by creating the next killer application. Applications were new, with all sort of technology and they were cutting edge. They were impressive, but didn't have much use for the majority of the world. And when it was useful most of the business were not ready to adopt the technology. We first need to convince the world that they need the technology. Most business don't buy products due to the new technology, They buy the products because it is essential to their business.

Over the years we saw hundreds of killer applications but if we ask our self “How many of them are in use now?” answer would be almost NONE. Most of the killer application were incredibly narrow in scope and targeted a small market segment while making use of every latest "cool" technology, but most of the software companies had to close down because of, lack of sales.

As the years go by, computers will become part of our lives and more unseen. We're already at that point, When this takes place computers will be more like the Internet or Telephone where people make use of it on a daily basis and they can’t go a day without using it either, I feel we as Software Developers, should try to develop multiple niche application that are useful but simple and invisible that the users don't notice but use it on a daily basis. For instance when I watch television I would not put much effort into thinking how the television stations are broadcasting or how it is received by my television set, my only purpose is to watch television, so my interest will be focused on the programme I’m watching. This is how our application should be, which are used to do a users task, without taking up much of their attention, but when asked how much they like the application they will respond by saying “They liked it, because it is easy and efficient to use and gets their work done on time”.