Quiznos

…Remember Quiznos? Yeah, I guess they still exist. But they peaked a long time ago. In 2007, they had more than 5,000 franchise locations. But by now, they closed most of their restaurants and now have less than 1,000 in the United States. In 2014, they filed for bankruptcy.

What happened?

The entire premise of Quiznos was toasted sandwiches. Before Quiznos even had a chance to compete, Subway put a toaster oven in each of their stores. It was too easy.

In contrast to Quiznos’ less-than-1,000 stores, Subway has over 44,000 restaurants worldwide. All Subway had to do to shut down competition was to put a toaster oven in each store.

So what?

The entire premise of Snapchat was temporary photos. Instagram put Stories in their own app. It was too easy.

I’m not saying it isn’t worth building competing products. Nor am I saying that Snapchat automatically doesn’t have a chance. But they can’t expect longterm success with gimmicks that competition can easily copy.

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