When I saw this CNET article today I was reminded of the blinding pace in which business transformation now occurs. Another powerful, once ubiquitous brand faces extinction because of the continuing evolution of technology. When Netflix first launched I had no fear for Blockbuster, I am an impulsive person and I just was not going to wait three days to get a movie or plan ahead to make sure I had one for the weekend, they would always have the impulse market, right? The advent of on-demand video, streaming services and of course the ubiquitous i-Tunes video offering has made the whole concept of destination based content trips, well, quaint.
It makes you wonder what will be next? Do we need printed maps anymore in the era of Google Maps and the GPS? Obviously the Kindle and I-Pad are betting heavily in the digital distribution of novels, textbooks and magazines and do you every wonder if the guys at My Space look at Facebook and wonder how “did we screw that up”? The fact of that matter is that market leaders can rapidly by caught and passed in this era of rapid technical development. Furthermore the content and community categories are incredibly susceptible to changes in user behavior and digital distribution. It is incumbent upon market leaders to “stay paranoid” as former Intel CEO, Andy Grove used to say. Complacency is the forbearer of failure and the key ingredient to the demise of market leadership. I really admire companies like GE that make reinvention and challenging of the status quo critical elements of their corporate culture. I often wonder as a consultancy how we continue to encourage our clients to follow that path….. Would love to hear your thoughts. Sal