Competition is rarely ever a bad thing. However, some products have too much competition. In the past three months webcam covers have been featured numerous times on both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. The problem does not lie in the quality, design, or usefulness of the product. The problem is that they are all the same.
The open market thrives on competition. It drives prices down and churns out the best products. Great products become successful, and poor products disappear into obscurity. Competition is a great tool, but variety is key to a competitive market.
The world needs better options for covering up webcams. Sticky notes became the go-to coverup, but we’re more sophisticated than that. Right? Consequently, a whole team of individuals happened to envision a very similar product. They developed the ISCC… and the Spyslide… and the Privoo.
Each developer had a vision. Amazingly (dare I say extraordinarily) a number of developers had nearly identical designs. They all even had similar claims of being the thinnest option. Even better, they all presented the dangers of your webcam and the only solution… that dreaded sticky note. They all presented the same sales pitch.
With the rising concerns over privacy, their projects successes come as no surprise. I mean, who can resist such an innovative and totally new product idea? In reality, the webcam cover is nothing new to the market. A quick online search will uncover dozens (if not hundreds) of options that look almost exactly the same. Once again, they all claim to be super thin compared to their competitors. Overall, they all cost about the same.
Maybe I’m too cynical, but I find it hard to believe that all these developers aren’t just capitalizing on an easily duped audience and a super simple design. A quick design on SOLIDWORKS and a couple phone calls for manufacturing prices, and you can be well on your way to becoming the next developer of this product! These projects bore me. They frustrate me.
My goal (when browsing Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and other technology based sites) is to sift through the mire and find innovation. Unfortunately, I often stumble on regurgitated products that claim superiority and innovation while offering the same, drab material. Remember to scour the internet for a product before assuming a product is really new or better. Developers, please bring us something special and new and different. Tell us what you think about these repeated projects in the comment section below!