Are you ready for it?
Every product has a limited life cycle. That’s easy. But what happens when your entire industry changes? And where are you in the lifecycle of yours?
The are a number of things that cause an industry to change. Some of the main factors are technology, globalization, and regulation. Any one of these things can turn a business upside down if it’s not ready for them. And in time, something is going to happen that has the power to cast your entire business model aside.
No big deal as long as you’re ready for it.
Faces Of Change
Jon from Smart Wealthy Rich left an excellent comment on my post about marketing music. He’s a musician, and he knows what’s going on. Better yet, he’s recognizing and embracing the new paradigm that music downloads have forced onto the entire music industry.
Here’s another example. I’ve previously talked about how the comics industry changed. This also came about with advances in technology. But unlike music, where technology has started to de-monetize the biz through slumping CD sales, the comics industry suffered a different kind of transition. Technology grabbed people and pulled them away to other rising medias … video gaming and the internet for example.
And one more example. Here the evolutionary factor is globalization. But it’s also maturity. Every industry matures and as it’s goods and services become more common place, and as competition increases, the price goes down. Back in the early ’90s, a 24 pack of bottled water in Costco would cost you about 15 bucks. Today, you can buy a 35 pack for anywhere between 4 and 5 bucks.
That’s a big difference. Bottled water as an industry has matured. It’s become commoditized as a result, and as multinationals have used their purchasing power to drive the price down and drive smaller players out.
The New Opportunity
The beauty of change is that it brings new opportunity for those who can initiate it or recognize and embrace it. Marvel Comics has moved heavily into film and video games. A lot of water bottlers have jumped into value added products such as oxygenated or vitamin-enriched water.
Wind-surfing manufacturers have embraced kite-boarding. Phone companies are delivering digital cable TV. Companies are adding blogs to their corporate websites. The list goes on.
Every industry is bigger than any single company. And the factors that create change are bigger still. But by staying in tune with the shifting landscape, anyone can survive the shakeouts that change brings. You need to be part fortune-teller, part inventor, and always moving in new directions.
Are you ready for it? What are you doing today to make sure your business has a place in tomorrow? What is the future of your industry? Change happens. It has to and it will, so live it, love it, and ride it all the way to your next big success.
Better yet, grab the bull by the horns and create it.