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This is a selection made from among articles on Jodex Ipod Video Converter. For a permanent link to this article, or to bookmark it for future reading, click here.

iPod vs. Velcro -- Battle of the Super Products

from: Brandon Cornett

I'm a sucker for a good battle. Not an all-out war, mind you --
just a good tow-to-tow, one-on-one slugfest. Think Holyfield vs.
Tyson, Alien vs. Predator, or Ashley Simpson vs. anyone with

I'm also a sucker for ingenious products. So in the spirit of
combining these passions, I'm acting as the Don King of products
to put the Apple iPod up against Velcro, for the title of
All-Time Super Product.

Category 1 - Impact on Other Industries

Once it was released, Velcro had clothing manufacturers
scrambling to try it out. This led to the creation of Velcro
flies, Velcro pocket fasteners, and, of course, the Velcro shoe
fasteners you still see children wearing today. Other industries
adopted the product as well.

But the iPod has touched a greater number of industries in a
shorter time. Just type "ipod products" into any major search
engine, and you'll see what I mean.

Electronics companies like Bose have developed iPod docking
stations, speakers and other peripherals. Clothing manufacturers
have created iPod pockets in some of their garments. Even car
manufacturers have jumped on the train. And then there's the
media impact the iPod has had -- "podcast" anyone?

** Point goes to the iPod **

Category 2 - Memorable Features A product with memorable
features will succeed for a number of reasons. Shoppers are more
inclined to remember it, recognize it, and relate it to others
in casual conversation. This leads to buzz, "mindshare,"
popularity and profit.

iPod enjoys a great product name -- catchy and easy to remember.
It also has a memorable look and feel.

Velcro, on the other hand, has never been duplicated, and so it
enjoys complete uniqueness in the mind of consumers. The sound
alone is one of the most memorable product features of all time.
Open a Velcro fastener, and that sound will be recognized
anywhere in the civilized world.

** Point goes to Velcro **

Category 3 - Inventiveness

The iPod has partly evolved from MP3 players, and from walkmans
before that. Velcro, on the other hand, was adopted from nature.

George de Mestral got the idea for Velcro while walking his dog
through a Swiss meadow in 1948. He and the dog returned home
covered with burrs, those prickly plant husks that cling to
animal fur as a means of seed distribution.

Intrigued by the seed sacs, Mestral examined them under a
microscope. There he found the secret to their clinging power --
a series of hook-and-loop fasteners.

Mestral took an idea from the plant world and turned it into a
viable product that became a multi-million-dollar industry.

** Point goes to Velcro **

Category 4 - Marketing

George de Mestral overcame a lot of skepticism with his
hook-and-loop fastener. He said it would rival the zipper, and
people laughed. When it actually did rival the zipper, he sold
it as fast as he could produce it -- a marketing success story,
to say the least.

Apple kept the iPod shrouded in secrecy during its development,
and released it amid a flurry of media attention. Within days,
every person in every industrial nation had at least heard of
the iPod, if not actually seen or purchased one.

** Point goes to the iPod **

Category 5 - Longevity

Perhaps longevity is an unfair category, given the iPod's young
age. But I'm the Don King of product battles here, and I say it
goes. To be fair, we can revisit this category down the road a
decade or two (to see if the iPod is still around).

But for now, it's an easy point for Velcro, having endured for
nearly 50 years with no end to its popularity in site.

** Point goes to Velcro **

Category 6 - Cultural Impact

Velcro changed the way we think about fasteners. But are
fasteners part of our culture? Granted, Velcro enjoyed a brief
cultural thrust when some parenting groups argued it would lower
the intelligence of children (letting them "get off easy" by not
having to tie their shoes). But that's about it.

The Apple iPod, on the other hand, has changed the way we think
of music and mobility. And those things are definitely a part of
our culture.

** Point goes to the iPod **

The Results Are In - It's a Tie!

If you were expecting a lopsided victory, I'm sorry to
disappoint. Both products have had a major impact on the world
around them. So they share the title of All-Time Super Product.
And maybe they're not meant to compete anyway. Maybe they're
meant to live in harmony and complement one another.

Take those jogger's armbands for example. Velcro holds the
armband firmly in place, and the armband holds the iPod firmly
in place. The end result is a more enjoyable experience for the

And if that's not harmony, I don't know what is.


Republish the article

Copyright 2006, Brandon Cornett. You may republish this article
as long as it is left intact with byline, author's note and
website address / hyperlink. iPod is a registered trademark of
Apple Computer, Inc. VELCRO is a registered trademark of Velcro
Industries B.V.

About the author:

About the Author

Brandon Cornett is the editor of href="http://www.ipodknowledge.com">iPodKnowledge.com, one
of the Internet's largest (and ever-growing) collections of iPod
tips and articles. Maximize your iPod's performance, learn how
to choose the right iPod, or submit a product review by
visiting: href="http://www.ipodknowledge.com">http://www.iPodKnowledge.com



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