Jean-Baptiste Say (1767 - 1832)
Can it be possible that a market exists before something is created?
This basic principle has been called "Say's Law of Markets." And it is essentially that. Markets are created when a product - a good or a service - hits the scene that everyone wants.
Ten years ago there may have been a demand for the small, pad computers. But none had been invented. None had been produced. The demand may have been hiding out there in some latent fashion, but until such a product was introduced there was no supply to service that latent demand.
People did not know they wanted a pad computer! But they did. And with nothing to satisfy that demand there was no market. The supply of pad computers, first brought to market in 2010, created an immediate demand and an immediate market. And it created all the substitutes, with more companies coming to market with their own versions of the pad computer. And then the subsequent generations of pad computers came forth with more of this and better of that.
As with all products this one will be superseded. Remember the big TV-like computers, called "mini-computers," which sat heavily on the desk? And how they got smaller in time? And were replaced by a "tower" which sat under the desk, connected to a smaller and thinner screen? Are they still around? Yes. Are they as popular as they were say twenty years ago? No. But they are cheaper and still available. And as far as computers go they do it all.
Think of all the computer products that had no market 20 years ago that have happened since! For instance, I can carry of library of tens of thousands of books in my pocket, and everywhere I go. I can break it out any time and access any one of those books and begin reading. It even remembers the last page read for me when I "open" the book. Some books are "free!" I can tell you, while I very much enjoy that today, I had no idea 20 years ago that I would like such a thing in my pocket. Or at my reading chair. Or in my glove compartment. I even have a cool leather cover to keep it safe while I carry it around! Like Say says above, the pocket library created a market for other complementary products - cases and such.
This is the very essence of free market economics. Boiling off all the water in an economic pot, what is left is the fact that until a good or service that everyone wants is brought to everyone's attention and a demand for it is created, no market exists. If a given good or service comes to market and becomes popular its supply, and continued supply, spurs market demand enough to encourage more and more popularity via more and more production.
Can there be a glut? For a short while. Over time nothing goes to waste as the price will lower and lower until eventually it is all gone. My little pocket library may one day be given out as a "free gift" by a certain store when people shop on a certain day. It will be a marketing gimmick, and then forgotten, and finally become the equivalent of a spinning wheel displayed in a museum. Say's Law says there is no glut forever. All production will eventually be acquired.
And the best way to acquire that good or service to market is with guidance by an invisible hand that directs the most efficient use of resources toward that end. Free enterprise makes those resources more used and more valuable.
Free enterprise creates market value from market supply.