VCR’s are another example. In 2000, 99 percent of households used a VCR as their primary appliance for watching movies and recorded programs. In 2006, DVD players for the first time were in more homes (84 percent) than VCR’s (79 percent). High Definition Televisions were in only 10 percent of homes.
Fast forward to 2012 – just six short years later, and 69 percent of homes have at least one HDTV, 90 percent own a DVD player, 38 percent have a Blu-ray DVD player; 41 percent have a Digital Video Recorder (DVR); and VCR usage has plummeted to under 10percent. Did the DVD player kill VCR’s? No. In fact, it took DVD players 14 years to push by VCR players in home penetration. It wasn’t until HDTV’s started getting into homes that VCR’s died. Why? Because played on a High-Definition TV, a digital picture from a DVD was significantly better than that from an analog VCR tape. When the two formats were played on old analog TV’s, there wasn’t much difference in picture quality. But high-definition TV’s made the digital pictures come to life, making DVD players suddenly a significantly better product for movie playback than a VCR.
So if you are a budding entrepreneur, is what you are cooking up for your new business so good that it will be disruptive to your product or service category? If it isn’t, you better have deep pockets and be prepared to spend a ton of money on advertising to try to win over some customers. Oh yeah, and remember, if what you are selling isn’t different, getting customers to switch is almost impossible. They won’t switch until you give them a real reason to.