New Coke. The Greatest Product Failure and why it was a HUGE Winner!

Morning Folks!!

One of the epic product failures in my lifetime was when Coke introduced "New Coke" back in 1985. That was a few years after the digital watch was brought to market by Pulsar. That watch kept better time than anything on the market and was supposed to replace all those expensive watches and make them obsolete. Tell that to Christy's when they sell those multi million dollar Patek's at auction today.


But getting back to the big flop "New Coke". The public embraced it at first and then rejected it. At first people accepted it. Then there was a backlash. Coca-Cola was forced to bring back the original. They did not like it, they did not buy it. Coke was forced to introduce "Coke Classic" to shore things up.

And the supermarkets had to go along with it because that was what the consumer wanted. Of course there are always some on the fringe that wanted New Coke. So they kept making it until it was renamed and  then eventually discontinued.

So when Coca-Cola goes into those supermarkets who only have a certain amount of room devoted to soda. What to do? Well if you are Coca-Cola, you might try to just move some of your competitors right off the shelf and out the door. Coca-Cola now had more shelf space. And as New Coke came to market, it changed things.

The point is nobody can speak for the consumer except the consumer. He is judge and jury and everything else you hear is wishful thinking and hot air. That's the true BS. Nobody knows what will happen but those with skin in the game only focus on one side of the equation and ignore the other side. It is my firm belief that anyone ignoring important information on either side lessens their chance of success by a large degree. Folks that look at both sides and are more prepared increase their chance of success. But neither group trumps the consumer.

And as you can see in the case of "New Coke", the revolt took 3 weeks to materialize.

2014 marks the year that domains get more shelf space. No question about that. I think the classic domain will expand. I think the new domains will come out with great fanfare and when reality hits, then the things shift in a very big and noticeable way.

The only real question for me is who will be the likely winners and let me eliminate the losers. And just like I was not the first in domaining, I came into the game years after, I think the best play is years after. Let's see who remains on that shelf.

As for time frame to see how it all shakes out. Could be 1-3 months or 1-3 years because end users will all likely have to go down Overstock Blvd. When they see the amount extra that their ad dollars are costing them, that my friends will be the true moment of decision. And the registry will not be at the table when that decision is made. Ben Franklin and a lot of bean counters will.

Now the following was posted at as a comment. Again, empirical evidence vs wishful and hopeful thinking. They are not the same.

"Here is a partial list of corporations that built free-standing websites on .Mobi. Some probably have been abandoned by now."

See how many of these companies you have heard of: (Weather Channel) (World Wildlife Fund)

You don't see a common thread here? When it comes to .brands I see a path forward. But .brand as I have also started may be internal. So if .Apple were to use it externally, what word would they use left of the dot that would be meaningful and have a really nice ring to it? Do any really sound better than Buy.Apple? Home.Apple? Sweet.Apple? iPhone.Apple?, Mac.Apple? But what is the homepage?? The main entrance? Odds are it is going to be regardless if they have .apple or even use .apple. Whoever was in charge had a duty to secure .apple. But that is his one and only duty. Secure it. Whether it will ever be used will not be up to whoever secured it.

Look, bitcoin is a huge success. But if you bought it 2 weeks ago you may have lost 50% of your value. So that's the danger on a huge success. What is the danger on a huge failure?

Look, I am very open-minded but I am not BLIND! I am not STUPID! And I am keenly aware of the great loss a failure would look like. Why??? Because that is still the most likely outcome based on the evidence we already have and many would like you to ignore. You would have to be the singles biggest moron in  town to ignore evidence in lieu of a second-rate sales pitch.

And yeah, that angers a section of the industry. There will be a lot of domainers feeding at that trough. For now. But I have always said TIME is my best ally. My posts will stand or fall on their own.  But navigating this requires certain skepticism because of the past and current failures.

I am not sure how a gTLD with limited strings left of the dot can mount any type of meaningful success. I just can't wrap my head around that. I can't even see anyone taking them over when they fail. Why would they? It would be a liability not an asset.

I come at all this from so many different angles and then when you add that this new "Interstate Highway System" has no pre-planning. No zoning. No traffic lights. No speed limits. Some may have few or no exits.  Overpasses?? WTF is that?? Oh yeah, that is when the lawyers get involved and these lawyers won't be in the They will be doing their proper jobs for the companies they represent and they are going to be busy little bees. Confusion will be the keyword in their filings.

WIPO itself would likely not be able to take on the added cases in the size and form that it is today. However I do believe many will just go right to Federal Court.  Isn't this 100% forseeable from where you sit? If not, why not? To me it is a guarantee. It is as guaranteed the way I look at things as the green light will turn red in a minute or two. It's not an "If" it is a "When". It is a "How many". It is a "How Much". But not to assume this is coming? That would be what I would call sticking your head in the sand.

And as I have also said, it is the CONTENT or lack of it that will also be in play. There still needs to be a reason to go somewhere before you go. That is going to be several years away at best.

As for the premium pricing. I love it! I am not a sucker so I won't buy into any, but I love it. Some have already set themselves up for failure. Their own values are likely to go down not up. They want to duplicate .com but have ignored almost every play in the .com playbook. To me that is a red flag.  Many are trying to duplicate .co but I think .co has its own unique circumstance. That said the aftermarket is loaded with very low-priced .co's.  We all know you can't even GIVE a .mobi away. But the likely winner may be no gTLD at all. Could be .Net, .TV, .Info, .Me, which are now all on the radar. Is it possible that the new ones push the old ones to the top? You bet it is.

But today if you want REAL Coca-Cola in the USA you have to go to Costco or some supermarkets and make sure you get the ones marked "Bottled in Mexico".  See in Mexico they can still use sugar. Not in the USA. High Corn Fructose.

So if you want the "Real Thing"..........

All I can really say is it has to be meaningful, easy to communicate, logical, sound good, look good, and capture large and targeted audiences if they really intend to create need, want and desire outside of those looking for the second coming. I can't wait for general availability just to see what it looks like. What it looks like as the flippers go into action. 2014 won't be boring. It will take the first half year to ramp up, but after that, just enjoy the show.

Rick Schwartz