RFID Journal Editor Mark Roberti's Blog
More Musings on Moore
September 23, 2010
I've written a couple of recent blogs that offer large and small vendors unsolicited advice on how to approach the RFID market (see Free Advice for RFID Vendors and More Free Advice for RFID Vendors). The advice I offered pertains to how companies can emerge as the "gorilla"—the term used by author Geoffrey Moore in his book Inside the Tornado to describe the major technology provider in a particular market. Moore says that before any technology can enter the "tornado"—a period of rapid, mass-market adoption—there must first be a dominant market player.
According to Moore, there must also be a compelling business problem that only the new technology can solve, as well as a global standard and a "whole product" that does most or all of what a user wants it to do. When all of these conditions exist, the market acts like a herd, adopting the gorilla's solution en masse.
One issue I haven't explored is just what it takes to be a gorilla in the RFID industry. And I think that will vary, depending on the industry and application, because the gorilla relates to the whole product. Take asset tracking, for example. Real-time location system (RTLS) vendors often provide tags, readers and software—a whole product. One company will likely emerge as the gorilla in the market for RTLS technology in health care. That company could then leverage its position to move into manufacturing and logistics. (Moore calls the strategy of having a "local tornado" in one market, and then using that to achieve a tornado in another, the "bowling pin" strategy.) Or one firm could emerge as the gorilla in manufacturing, with another emerging in logistics.
But in the market for passive RFID systems, it's difficult to see one company providing billions of RFID chips and tags, hundreds of millions of interrogators, and software for every application. It seems to me that in the passive market, several gorillas will work together to create a whole product and drive adoption in an industry. So in retail apparel, for example, we will likely see one tag provider, one reader provider and one software provider emerge as the dominant players in their respective arenas.
Some passive solutions may utilize the same hardware gorillas, but I don't believe that any particular software company will dominate the market for all applications. The applications are too varied, so just as we have software firms that dominate desktop publishing, computer-aided design, accounting or games, I think we will also see software firms dominate either industries or applications. One company might emerge as the software gorilla for retail apparel, for example, while another might dominate supply chain applications, with yet another dominating work-in-process management for manufacturers.
This is not unheard of in Moore's model. When the personal computer entered the tornado, the market was dominated by a hardware provider (IBM) and a software provider (Microsoft). And when the Internet entered the tornado, a hardware company (Cisco) and a software firm (Netscape) dominated. The latter had better than 85 percent market share, in fact, until Microsoft took it away. (I'll talk more about what happens after the tornado in my next post.)
There are many opportunities within the RFID industry. RFID vendors need to focus on building alliances with the right partners to solve real problems. When that happens, we'll see the technology enter the tornado in specific industries.
POST A COMMENT
A Conversation with a Hotel Poacher
Posted on: 1/13/2016
The RFID Marketer's Mindset
Posted on: 3/5/2015
What RFID Solution Providers Should Do
Posted on: 3/4/2015
Be a Trusted Advisor for Attendees at LIVE! 2014
Posted on: 3/25/2014
What CEOs of RFID Companies Need to Know
Posted on: 12/18/2012
Tools for UHF Deployments
Posted on: 11/13/2012
RFID Journal Publishes Article No. 10,000
Posted on: 11/6/2012
Where to Find Good RFID Leads
Posted on: 9/27/2012
Talk to End Users About Their Business Problems
Posted on: 4/2/2012
RFID for a Good Cause
Posted on: 3/23/2012
About That Untapped Pool of Customers
Posted on: 3/15/2012
Hello! I'm Ready to Buy an RFID Solution
Posted on: 3/13/2012
Is There an Untapped Pool of RFID Customers Somewhere?
Posted on: 3/12/2012
How Small Companies Can Market RFID Successfully
Posted on: 3/9/2012
5 Common Mistakes Made by RFID Marketers
Posted on: 2/29/2012
Veterans Health Administration Seeks RTLS Experts
Posted on: 1/28/2011
How Do You Value Information?
Posted on: 11/17/2010
Maximizing Exhibitor ROI at RFID Journal LIVE! 2011
Posted on: 11/16/2010
RFID Could Reduce Return Fraud—a $14 Billion Problem
Posted on: 11/9/2010
Seeking Judges for the RFID Journal Awards
Posted on: 11/8/2010
Hong Kong RFID Awards 2010 Announced
Posted on: 10/20/2010
Some Positive Coverage of RFID
Posted on: 10/19/2010
Posted on: 9/23/2010
More Free Advice for RFID Vendors
Posted on: 9/22/2010
Free Advice for RFID Vendors
Posted on: 9/21/2010
Inside an RFID Industry Roundtable
Posted on: 9/17/2010
Wal-Mart's President Says EPC RFID Strategy Is Working
Posted on: 9/16/2010
Are RFID-Enabled Credit Cards Safer Than Magstripe Cards?
Posted on: 9/15/2010
Technology Predictions Aren't Always Accurate
Posted on: 9/14/2010
Should We Be Tracking Kids With RFID?
Posted on: 9/13/2010
Internet of Things Event in Tokyo
Posted on: 9/8/2010
The Future is Not Inevitably Bleak
Posted on: 9/7/2010
The RFID Privacy Conundrum
Posted on: 8/27/2010
Using RFID to Improve Online Availability
Posted on: 8/26/2010
Coca-Cola Event Exploits RFID on Facebook
Posted on: 8/25/2010
Awarepoint's Big RTLS Music Video Contest
Posted on: 8/24/2010
PBS NewsHour Responds to RFID Journal
Posted on: 8/19/2010
PBS NewsHour Misinforms Viewers on RFID
Posted on: 8/16/2010
Academic Navel Gazing Continues
Posted on: 8/12/2010
A Privacy Expert’s Misguided View of RFID
Posted on: 8/11/2010
Please Contribute to the Sinclair Laing Memorial Scholarship Fund
Posted on: 8/9/2010
Using RFID to Solve Postal Address Problems
Posted on: 8/6/2010
BNET Blogger Spreads False Info About Wal-Mart and Privacy
Posted on: 8/5/2010
RFID Not at Fault in Passport Test
Posted on: 8/2/2010
Why Isn't Wal-Mart Killing the Tags?
Posted on: 7/27/2010
Privacy Nonsense Sweeps the Internet
Posted on: 7/26/2010
Thank You, Bill Hardgrave
Posted on: 7/9/2010
Staff Spread Too Thin? RFID Can Help
Posted on: 6/22/2010
ABC Eyewitness News Presents Selective Facts About RFID Credit Cards
Posted on: 5/28/2010
Presentations now available
Posted on: 5/6/2010
Do You Want to Be an RFID Gorilla?
Posted on: 4/2/2010
Why Contextual Marketing Works
Posted on: 3/30/2010
Would Geoffrey Moore Validate Your Business Model?
Posted on: 3/17/2010
The Biggest Mistakes Vendors Make at Trade Shows
Posted on: 3/9/2010
The Biggest Mistakes RFID Marketers Make
Posted on: 2/28/2010
When Will RFID Become a Mainstream Technology?
Posted on: 2/23/2010
Build the Whole RFID Solution
Posted on: 2/18/2010
RFID Deployments Rarely Start in the C-suite
Posted on: 2/12/2010
Be wary of hotel solicitations
Posted on: 2/7/2010
Posted on: 2/5/2010
Welcome to the all new RFID Connect
Posted on: 1/26/2010
Founder and Editor
Add them to my Contact List
Recommend this blog
Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. His blog focuses on all aspects of radio frequency identification and related technologies.
Latest Blog Posts
Industrie 4.0 von Ameisen lernen?
Can RFID Change the World?
Lancement d’Apple Pay en France, simple annonce ou date clé pour le paiement mobile sans contact
Developing your own battery-free sensors: RFID software design
NFC comes into play