I enjoyed the New York Times' article about the Sci-Fi Channel. As our reader's have read, low budget films can mean high profits. It is the same with almost any art form, the small and reliable product will result in steady gains. Every now and then, though, the small product hits its mark and becomes a success that no one expects. In the film world there was 1999's The Blair Witch Project, in books, there was 2003's The Da Vinci Code.
Companies should foster such breakout hits. Create simple, niche products and services that are low cost. If you fill a niche you will find an audience or a market. Then do whatever is in your power to expand the product from its niche to the mainstream. Market intelligently and precisely, letting consumers' actions help guide your choices. Maybe it won't happen the first time, or the tenth, but sooner or later you will hit on something big. Remember, big things may come in small packages. How little is your mp3 player?