Over the weekend news that TAG Heuer, the famous watch company, about what they play to do re Apple Watch. There weren't any specifics, other than they don't plan to roll over for Apple the way others have, notably Nikon and Canon in digital cameras, Blackberry in smart phones, Windows in operating systems.
Then I wondered what they would do? Would they make a mistake like the one Canon made, and leave out a crucial feature? Canon may have taken better pictures, but if you look at the steps a person goes through to upload a picture, if there's good communication built into the camera, you can shorten the process significantly. And that's what technology integration is all about. How effortless can you make it to do something that lots of people want to do, something compelling.
They have to offer something elegant and simple, and not in any way compromise the value of their product. TAG Heuer, like all high end watches, sells style, feel, look, image. If they release an even slightly flawed product they'll not only not meet Apple in the market, but they'll tarnish their already famous-for-quality product.
The new TAG Heuer watch must look like the original. It's already perfect. Don't screw with perfection.
They should not try to make their watch run an operating system with a user interface. Apple has a multi-decade head start here. The only other choice is to use Android, which while popular, has a schlocky feel that's not compatible with the TAG Heuer brand.
They need to zig to Apple's zag. Apple is going to bring along their entire developer community. Which means their watch has to have a complex UI so users can access a lot of different apps. Instead focus. Do one thing exceptionally and provably well.
Don't put the OS on the watch. Instead, add a hardware interface, and connect via Bluetooth, to some really smooth proprietary software that runs on Android, iOS and desktop operating systems.
What should it do? Not very much. But something a significant number of people want to do.
Build it into a new low-end TAG Heuer watch.
Do it carefully, with excellent design throughout. The new packaging should be better and simpler and more elegant than Apple's. That's the mistake all of Apple's vanquished competitors made, thinking that the dressing was not important. It really is.
The hard stuff is already developed, the human interface.
There's a market for it. People love their FitBits. They talk about them all the time. It's a possible successor to Apple, esp given that the market that Apple is entering barely exists.
Buy out FitBit and Jawbone if they think it would pass an antitrust test (it shouldn't) so they aren't available for a watch company to merge with.