Innovate or Suffocate. The dangers of ignoring opportunity
Time and time again, business history has shown that it is the business that is willing to change that prospers. Innovation and the application of new ideas make it more likely to succeed, while stagnation usually leads to the competition taking you to the cleaners.
Two examples that come to mind are Sears and Blockbuster Video.
Sears was a company that for over 130 years was famous for sending out a paper catalogue for shoppers to browse and mail in orders, however recently online shopping has become the newest go-to way to shop from home. Rather than embrace the new method and change their operation Sears stuck to what they were comfortable with.
The result was a loss of over $10.4 Billion in revenue since 2011.
The second company had the opposite problem. Blockbuster Video was a brick and mortar chain that allowed for customers to rent out movies and games to take home and use for a period of time before returning. In the year 2000 Blockbuster was approached with an opportunity to buy a then-unknown video streaming service for $50 million that would allow customers to pay a weekly fee to access a wide variety of content from their devices. Blockbuster declined, fearing that the purchase was a waste and that the service was unnecessary.
That service was Netflix, which has been credited as the major factor for putting video rental stores out of business entirely, and now has a net worth over $100 Billion.
Change can be a scary prospect for any company, however usually the regret of doing nothing is much worse than those that took a chance. Do you have any stories about a change that worked or didn’t work for you? Let us know in the comments below!