Why Doesn't Anyone Start An IPVM Competitor?

I've now worked for IPVM for almost a year and learned a tremendous amount about the industry. In my time here I've noticed that IPVM has no real competitors and I was just wondering...why is that? Why does nobody else attempt what IPVM does?

Most of you have worked in the industry a lot longer than I have, have you seen anyone else attempt the same formula that IPVM has? If so, why didn't it work?

I'd like to hear some opinions on what keeps industry people coming back to the site and if they believe someone else could succeed.


Because it's easier to sit back and throw rocks rather than moving into a glass house?

I really admire the courage it took to start a site like this as a career move. I'd love to do something such as this myself, but wouldn't be able to risk my current income to do so and I don't see this as something that could be done as a hobby during "off hours".

Because it's hard work, that's why.

There have been other websites and YouTube channels that have come and gone over the years, and some of them have put out excellent content, but to consistently put out content, day in and day out, for long enough to get noticed takes the kind of single minded dedication that most people simply don't have.

IPVM's model is pretty rare in the industry. There is more money to be made in receiving support directly from the major manufacturers which is probably a big part of it.

It takes a rare personality and mix of knowledge and experience to stand up in a professional way to the beating IPVM and especially John receive on a regular basis. I don't think a lot of people are up to the challenge.

Finally, it's a niche market and IPVM has already laid the groundwork. They have a 10-year head start on everyone else already. I think it would be an expensive struggle to get new registrations and especially to pull existing IPVM members to a new platform. The membership here is expensive enough (if you're not a regular poster) that it's hard to imagine a lot of people having parallel subscriptions unless maybe the challenger already had a lot to offer that didn't overlap IPVM's offerings too much.

I think it would be an expensive struggle to get new registrations and especially to pull existing IPVM members to a new platform.

Yeah, I think that even if someone were to start a website similar to IPVM, it would have to be noticeably better to pull people to it. I'd think that its just a habit for a lot of Integrators, manufacturers, or end users to check IPVM for industry news daily...and old habits die hard.

"Famous for creating the most unique and highest quality video content in the security industry, Zeecure.com is host to thousands of visitors ever month looking for something different. We provide shoot-out results, tutorials, video reviews, and much more. All completely free of charge."

HIKVM is underway. Where do you think M.C. has been for the past month?

I think the answer is more economical: there simply isn’t enough money in what IPVM does for more than one company to exist. If someone else started a competitor there wouldn’t be any money in it for them.

It’s like the world Jenga champion saying, “come on, why aren’t there more serious competitors trying to challenge me for my title?”

There is of course sites like SDM out there. I don't believe anyone who has paid to be here believes that they are the same plane. Those type of websites are basically just a clickbait advertising campaign. Read some of them and realize how laughable it is to think that 10 years ago the print version of these sites was all we really had for news/reviews. However, since there are a few of them the model must be partially successful.

Industry sites like SDM charge manufacturers for access to their valuable group of subscribers.

IPVM charges subscribers for access to their own valuable content.

Completely different business models.

Yep, the subscribers are the product. The content is not.

There have been at least two attempts to create a "Consumer Reports" type of evaluation service for security and surveillance products in the past. One was started by a consultant like myself, the other by a self-proclaimed "security thought leader". I won't identify their names.

The problem with one was that it relied on manufacturers to support its business model. Each manufacturer would pay to have their product rated and provide the consultant with free equipment to test. In my mind, this service was unfair as it only provided ratings on those manufacturers who "paid to play". I'm not sure that the service ever developed a critical mass and soon fell by the wayside.

The other service had similar conflict of interest problems, as the the person running it would obtain his information primarily through schmoozing with manufacturers and attending industry events rather than conducting independent tests. This guy also had consulting gigs on the side with manufacturers that I felt made his advice anything but objective.

Another person in the industry approached me about 15 years ago and asked about starting a similar service. My advice to him at the time was that while such a service would be valuable, very few people would be willing to pay what it would take to make the service self-sustaining, particularly if the equipment had to be paid for rather than provided by the manufacturer. I did not believe that enough people would be willing to pay a large enough subscription fee to keep the service afloat. I am delighted that John has proven me wrong about this.

As valuable as the IPVM training and product testing is, I feel that the discussion forum is of equal or greater value. Unlike forums that anyone can join, IPVM members have paid a fee to in order to participate, which I feel does a good job of screening out the flakes. When you look at the depth and breadth of the IPVM membership, you have a good representation of the key players in our industry.

Agree 100% and IPVM has established its brand as the worlds leading source for video surveillance information. Not only would it be hard economically, but from a branding perspective Any competitor would have to overcome the IPVM brand. I just think IPVM is too established in a niche business for anybody to effectively challenge them.

"from a branding perspective Any competitor would have to overcome the IPVM brand."

actually, I don't think this is true.

I think that the fact that there is an existing entity (IPVM) makes it easier to start something either similar or related or peripheral to that existing entity.

John started this thing with nothing to compare/differentiate from.... which I would maintain is a much tougher challenge.

Read the book "Blue Ocean Strategy"

Blue Ocean Strategy is a marketing theory from a book published in 2005 which was written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, professors at INSEAD and co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, Kim & Mauborgne argue that companies can succeed by creating "blue oceans" of uncontested market space, as opposed to "red oceans" where competitors fight for dominance, the analogy being that an ocean full of vicious competition turns red with blood.

So I would argue the opposite. John had no competition (and still doesn't really). I would prefer to be in that position personally.

"So I would argue the opposite. John had no competition (and still doesn't really)."

What is your argument the opposite of?

I stated that imo, it was a tougher challenge to start something new that hadn't been done before - not that it couldn't be done.

I don't need to read a marketing theory study to understand that 'companies can succeed by creating "blue oceans" of uncontested market space, as opposed to "red oceans" where competitors fight for dominance'

If all the study could find was 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries - then I think your reference material actually supports my argument: that it is tougher to do.

I'll say what I think in a nutshell: I don't think the industry needs or has room for another IPVM. I have not at any point said to myself "I wish there was another place I could get video surveillance news." The fact that IPVM exists, in my eyes, does not open the door for a competitor. Since this is a niche industry and IPVM has established itself as the go to source for industry news there is no room for a competitor.

I don't know how to make my stance any clearer.

IPVM members have paid a fee to in order to participate, which I feel does a good job of screening out the flakes.

Well... When there is a flake that slips through it is generally pretty entertaining and harmless.

Leave Jeffrey alone!

JZVM.COM

Not enough acronyms in that domain name.

Michael, thanks for the great feedback!

As valuable as the IPVM training and product testing is, I feel that the discussion forum is of equal or greater value.

Agreed, when I initially started working here, reading the discussions was a great way for me to see the different perspectives on the products I was working with everyday. I learned pretty quickly how a majority of the industry the outspoken few felt toward each company.

I learned pretty quickly how a majority of the industry felt toward each company.

Well, the majority of the industry that subscribes too, reads, and comments on IPVM. That isn't the same thing.

Diabolical plan recently uncovered:

Said competitor would need a strong differentiator to pull market share from a niche target that would be cost prohibitive or illegal for IPVM to eventually copy if it worked.

Rob, is this your way of stating you are looking to start up a website?

Ha! No, I was just wondering if anyone has ever tried over the years.

Well, good.

Almost anybody can start an IPVM competitor- all it takes is genius-level understanding of security and security technology, a flair for elegant phrasing, a deep insight into the market and emerging trends, and a lot of time.

But keeping it running, though, takes the kind of single-minded focus that normal people just don't have.

I suspect an IPVM alternate will arise one day. Lots of people have a grudge against IPVM, some with good reason, and those people will all flock to the first viable candidate. It'll take a team of editors and administrators, though, in addition to a team of writers, because running a site like this alone would kill the average talented and motivated person.

There are plenty of geniuses out there, but only one Honovich.

A huge advantage IPVM has is the industry roles of its membership. The CEOs and executive teams of many video and access control companies are paid subscribers and often comment on articles and discussions. For me, it is more valuable who else is a member of the site, than anything John or Brian writes. Of course the latter drives the former.

While it sounds cheeky, IPVM is where "the cool kids hang out". It's hard to compete with that.

You know, you might be on to something....

Step one: Start Website.

Step two: Build certification program.

Step three: ANSI Certification.

Step four: ?

Step Five: Become the Governor of Hawaii!!!11!

not a big enough fish pond. all the other pubs are advertiser supported and have no motivation to present anything like vigorous dialog. lots of litigious vendors. too many sales reps booking orders based on telling the GC that those 125kHz prox cards are just fine.

I agree the cool (and not so cool) kids all hang out here. Even (perhaps especially) when their corporate policy claims to prohibit paying for ipvm subscriptions.

I agree the world would not be hurt by more ipvm competitors. I assume they don't exist because I rarely (actually never) get a response to a "tell me another site you think I should read" challenge.