Assumptions and Failures of a Design

Nike + FuelBand

Today, fitness devices like Fitbits, Apple watches and Garmins are very common.

Nike, a famous athletic shoes, apparel and sport equipment manufacturer, entered the wearable tech market in 2012 by introducing their activity tracker, called “FuelBand” to be worn and used with an Apple iPhone, iPad or Android device.

According to Wikipedia, as part of the Quantified Self movement, the FuelBand allows its wearers to track their physical activity, steps taken daily, and amount of energy burned.

In 2013, in wearables Nike was only behind Jawbone and Fitbit, with 10% of the market share. As more and more companies joined the fitness wristbands market, the market quickly became saturated by a surplus of competing products.

Although Nike+FuelBand pioneered wearables and started this whole fitness measuring business almost a decade ago (with Nike+iPod, a partnership with Apple Inc.), in 2014 Nike decided to discontinue and exit the wearable technology market.

Nike’s Assumption and its failure:

At the beginning Niki did not face major competition. Their goal was to connect to consumers, but they lacked the technological infrastructure to support a fitness tracking device. That is one mistaken assumption on their part.

They concluded it no longer needed its own gadget. Nike decided at best they could to partner with tech companies.

When the Apple Watch arrived in April 2015, Nike went back to being a third-party app on an Apple device.

Apple is in the hardware business. Nike is in the sneaker business. Apple does not see Nike as a competitor. A partnership between the two made sense.

Niki did not need to have a its own fitness tracker hardware. Nike FuelBand is no longer available on the market.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.