The iWatch talk is getting hot. Watches as a device are being pumped up as the next big thing, but if you ask me, I’m saying no. (so is my boy Fred Wilson)
Here’s the deal.
I had a badass professor at The University of Chicago, his name was James Schrager. Some of you might even know of him. The guy’s a classic. One of the things he taught us was businesses fall into 4 categories (I think it was 4 🙂 ) One of the categories is the image category. Image businesses are businesses that rely on image as the core reason for their successes. Clothes, are an image business. Cars, are an image business. Watches, are an image business. You get it? Products in the “image” business rely on how they make people look, their image as the driver to sales. Watches are the quintessential image product.
Watches are all about image. Most people wear a watch as “jewelry” first and to tell time second. Time isn’t even the first reason people wear a watch. The main reason watches were created, is now the second reason people wear them. Therefore, adding MORE utility isn’t going to sell more watches.
Do I think the iWatch and all the other wearable devices is gonna bomb? NO! But, are they the next computing killer product? NOPE!
iWatches and Android wearables are not going to be the hit iPod’s and iPhones and iPads were. They’re just not. They’re getting into the wrong space. Watches are jewelry in spite of their utility and that’s not gonna change because we allow them to text, video, or surf the net.
iWatches will be the tool of the nerd, just like the Casio watch of the 70’s and 80’s. The geeks and nerds who place little value on image will gobble up the iWatch, the rest of us will stick to Fossil, Movado, Rolex, Tag Heuer, Bulova, Omega, and Timex.
As I’ve said before. The days of sales being able to move a shitty product are over. The product comes first. No matter how bad Apple, Samsung and all the other manufacturers want watches to be the next thing, they won’t and dumping money into sales and marketing aint’ gonna help.
Product first, selling second, it’s just the way of the world today. Deal with it.