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Author Topic: structure follows strategy  (Read 5956 times)
Big Bird
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« on: August 16, 2005, 10:04:26 PM »
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Well , if my impressions of Canon/Nikon are accurate, I would not expect to get ANY inkling of what direction they are going. I used Nikon for many years, and it finally dawned on me that they either had no strategy, or at least wouldn't let their customers know. I wish I had saved some pathetically answered emails from Nikon.
I am not sure any of them know what direction digital is going, I think it really depends on the how rapidly the consumer buys up the latest offerings.
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jani
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2005, 03:23:51 AM »
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Nobody really goves a precise timetable/strategy for product development.
That depends on what you mean by "precise". If you mean "to the day", sure, you're right. If you mean "which quarter", then you're wrong.

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if you think this is a bad thing, look up "Osborne" on Google and you'll find a computer company that went bankrupt due to the founder's habit of prematurely announcing new products, which killed sales of existing models. There's a method to the madness, and saying too much too soon is a bad thing.
Of course, but then again, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, SUN, Ford, GM, Daimler-Chrysler, Sony, Samsung, Philips, etc. have not gone out of business, in spite of announcing new products pretty far in advance of availability.

That one company managed to bungle it so thoroughly doesn't mean that everyone will.
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Jan
Steven M Anthony
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2005, 01:13:20 PM »
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According to Canon, they have a strategy of being known and respected for Innovation.  Inherent in this general strategy will be new products, and lots of them.  Some will be in the form of new models and some will be upgrades to existing models.

The challenges with "managing" innovation is that no one can be completely sure when that spark of a new idea is going to take place, and you always run the risk of upsetting those who bought your last big idea when your next big idea becomes available.

One way to counter the latter issue is to make high-quality products--which I, personally, believe Canon does.  I bought the 10D about 6 months before the 20D was announced.  At first I was a little ticked off.  But the 10D was so awesome, I didn't regret having it--the 20D just gave me a case of the "I want the newest."

I guess time will tell whether their strategy will work over the long haul.
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Steve

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Giedo
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 01:06:28 AM »
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According to Canon, they have a strategy of being known and respected for Innovation.
Innovation as such is hardly a distinghuising strategy. Especially for a camera maker. I don't think there is one camera maker that did not strategize it's innovation. I think the reality lies indeed in a lack of strategy and this is dangerous for Canon and any other camera maker, as consumers will just go for the latest gadget from any manufacturer. The only consumers that will be kept from switching brands will be the ones who invested heavily in lensgear.
I think Canon should create long time trust among 'their' photographers who, (just for an example) want to invest in the cropped sensor line, but who are not sure if there will ever come quality L glass available.
What I mean is that their strategy should go further than just innovation and be more specific to be able to generate customer loyalty and long term business advantage.

Giedo
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Giedo
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2005, 07:00:50 AM »
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btw. Is your question/concern perhaps triggered by the 5D rumors?
It certanly is!.. and by the rumours of a new 1DmarkII and by reports of the Nikon D2X.. and by my wish to start building a lasting lens line-up.. and mostly by my frustration that I have to decide based on guessing games which are played in fora like these. (which I don't dislike at all, btw)
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I believe that Canon have 3 levels of SLRs
I agree, but what if a professional or advanced amateur likes APS sized sensors. Does he/she have to go to Nikon to get the really good stuff, like a clear viewfinder and fast lenses?
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Giedo
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2005, 12:21:26 PM »
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I'm curious to see if Canon responds to Minolta's IS-in-the-body.  

don't we wish!
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Giedo
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2005, 05:16:36 AM »
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As a business consultant I regularly tell my clients that structure allways follows strategy, meaning that a company should first know where it goes and only then start innovating / defining new products or services.

Allthough this seems logical, in practice this is often not the way companies go. How about Canon?
What is the strategy of Canon? Are they just responding to the market with new digital cameras or are they following their own path? If so, which is it? I have many questions and the answers I can only guess... (or discuss on this forum)

I have the feeling that customers are played with. Canon (and this probably goes for Nikon as well) should tell where it is going, so that their loyal customers can plan on their own strategy.

Giedo
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2005, 10:27:34 PM »
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Nobody really goves a precise timetable/strategy for product development. if you think this is a bad thing, look up "Osborne" on Google and you'll find a computer company that went bankrupt due to the founder's habit of prematurely announcing new products, which killed sales of existing models. There's a method to the madness, and saying too much too soon is a bad thing.
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Ray
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2005, 03:36:19 AM »
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My first computer was almost an Osborne, but they went broke before I could place my order. The impression I got over here is that they would gamble on the wholesale price of RAM and other components falling to a certain level within a certain period of time into the future, then collect deposits from customers for computers at a really attractive price to be delivered in 2 or 3 months time, hoping to beat their competitors who wouldn't take the risk.

They gambled and lost.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2005, 08:45:55 PM »
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Nobody really goves a precise timetable/strategy for product development.
That depends on what you mean by "precise". If you mean "to the day", sure, you're right. If you mean "which quarter", then you're wrong.
OK, so when will the body that replaces the 1D-MkII and the 1Ds-MkII go on the market? Can you even tell me the year? I didn't think so. Canon has indicated that this is in the offing, but hasn't yet stated whether the Mk-III version of the 1-series will be two separate bodies or one that does both high speed (8+ FPS and high resolution (16MP+).
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jani
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2005, 04:38:57 AM »
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OK, so when will the body that replaces the 1D-MkII and the 1Ds-MkII go on the market? Can you even tell me the year? I didn't think so. Canon has indicated that this is in the offing, but hasn't yet stated whether the Mk-III version of the 1-series will be two separate bodies or one that does both high speed (8+ FPS and high resolution (16MP+).
Jonathan, you wrote "Nobody really goves a precise timetable/strategy for product development.".

I didn't dispute that Canon doesn't disclose these numbers.

But Intel and AMD, for instance, certainly do. The provide pretty good roadmaps for when new CPUs arrive.

IBM publishes release schedules for new servers half a year or more in advance.

Daimler-Chrysler shows off their upcoming cars for 2006 in this autumn's exhibitions.
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Jan
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2005, 05:40:57 AM »
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I think Canon should create long time trust among 'their' photographers who, (just for an example) want to invest in the cropped sensor line, but who are not sure if there will ever come quality L glass available.
L-glass already fits the cropped sensor line-up. L-glass primarily distinguishes itself by build-quality and weather-sealing. It shares these traits with bodies found in the Pro series only, not with any of the cropped-sensor bodies.

So you will likely not see any L-versions EF-S. However, this doesn't mean that some of the (future) EF-S lenses will never out-perform L-glass. On the contrary, on cropped sensor bodies under specific circumstances EF-S may be indistinguishable if not better than L-glass. The 10-22 may already be an example of this.

I believe that Canon have 3 levels of SLRs:

The first level is the pro series line-up which will be extended over time and which is indicated by the single digit naming convention. A lower number means more features, more rugged. Price is not a driver, quality is.

The second level are the advanced series indicated by the double digit naming. You are not likely to see a weather sealed camera in this line-up. These camera's represent a compromise between price and quality.

The third level is the basic SLR series with triple digit naming convention. Price is the driver (meaning quality is always compromised for lower cost).

And obviously they have a fixed lens (P&S) line-up.

It is clear that the Pro series bodies will all be FF eventually. IMO the next high-speed 1 version will already be FF and we will first see a 12MP FF high-speed 1-series body separately, before we see a fully integrated single 1 body. It would be senseless to build a '9D' whatever with 1.6 crop, as it would merely be competing with the level 2 offerings.

It is not quite clear to me whether level 2&3 will use a different naming convention as in higher numbers means more features and/or whether we will see a 15D as an upgraded 10D just as the 350 is an upgraded 300, or even a 10DmkII.


So a Pro who needs dependable equipment in rugged situations can make an educated selection of lenses and body. For advanced and wedding-jockeys it is not a question either; level 2 will eat both EF-S as well as L-glass, and for the very wide angle on that level, the 10-22 already serves the purposes quite beautifully.

I don't think cameras in level 1 and 2 are remotely meant for or based on swerving consumers. And even in level 3 I believe that the investment is high enough for a lot of consumers to make a longer term commitment. The "switchers" will likely find themselves in the level2&3 which is 1.6 crop so that doesn't represent a "strategic" investment on the consumer's side either.


Of course, I don't know for sure whether this actually is Canon's "strategy" but at least it doesn't seem to be entirely without pattern.

btw. Is your question/concern perhaps triggered by the 5D rumors?
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Oscar Rysdyk
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Steven M Anthony
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2005, 12:06:56 PM »
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Innovation as such is hardly a distinghuising strategy. Especially for a camera maker. I don't think there is one camera maker that did not strategize it's innovation.


What I was referring to was the business strategy of positioning the company as a Product Leader supported by innovation (as opposed, say, to a company like Wal-Mart that positions itself as a price leader supported by its operational excellence).

It might not be all that distinguishing, but in the space they compete in, it seems to be working.  I haven't followed the Dslr wars too closely (I'd rather be out shooting!), but the press I see typically reports how Nikon (and others) are responding to Canon's latest new product salvo.  If Canon is truly setting the bar then their strategy is working--not only will they be perceived as leading Innovation (which will be important to show the investment community) but they, in effect, will be dictating the growth of the category.

I'm curious to see if Canon responds to Minolta's IS-in-the-body.  




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I think the reality lies indeed in a lack of strategy and this is dangerous for Canon and any other camera maker, as consumers will just go for the latest gadget from any manufacturer. The only consumers that will be kept from switching brands will be the ones who invested heavily in lensgear.

That is always the risk.  But if the reputation is successfully developed, people will wait for Canon's next move.  I react that way in the printer world.  I know that when Canon or HP come out with something better than the Epson I have that Epson will soon come out with a new standard.  It happened when Epson came out with the 1270/1280, the 2000, the 2200 and now with the R2400.

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I think Canon should create long time trust among 'their' photographers who, (just for an example) want to invest in the cropped sensor line, but who are not sure if there will ever come quality L glass available.
What I mean is that their strategy should go further than just innovation and be more specific to be able to generate customer loyalty and long term business advantage.

I'd be curious to see Canon's loyalty scores.  I would guess that once you have a few lenses for a given system, most people stick to that brand.  I have a Minolta film SLR, and have a few lenses for it.  But when I was in the market for a DSLR a couple of years ago, Minolta didn't make one.  Now that I have a Canon and 3 lenses for it, I'm not likely to switch--not even to Minolta--as I'm finally used to the 10D.  Switching to a brand where I would need new lenses again would never enter my mind.

So I'd say I'm loyal to Canon in the sense that i'm not going to switch--even though I do get ticked from time to time over their next new thing that if I had only waited for...
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Steve

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Tamron 28mm - 300mm
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