Build Something that Doesn’t Last
Long-term success depends on one’s attitude.
Creating a strategy is like building a sand castle on the shore. Unfortunately, the tide will always come in and destroy your work. Just ask every business leader before 705 AD and almost all of them since. Successful leaders must plan for it.
Since nothing lasts forever (especially now), the way to be successful in the long run is to honestly consider a future without your current star product or business model. No matter how hard it is, you need to start tearing down emotional connections to your successful past endeavors so you can plan ahead.
Don’t make your success a liability.
Just ask Circuit City about Best Buy, Montgomery Ward about Walmart, or Dell about Apple. They all dominated the other before ultimately losing the lead. Circuit City had big box electronics retail figured out and Montgomery Ward was famous for their catalogs. Now my daughter doesn’t even know what a catalog is. Catalogs didn’t last.
Also look at Michael Dell. He built an amazing company that took “on demand” manufacturing to a whole new level and was the poster child of the best cost marketing strategy. I remember reading in 2000 how analysts thought Dell would be hard to beat due to their strategy and economies of scale. The “moat around them is too wide” they said. 10 years later Dell’s value is down almost 80% even though computer sales are up.
Their strategy didn’t last.
The winners will be companies like Apple, who plan for change because they see that products, companies, and even whole industries don’t last. Apple didn’t think stand alone music players (iPod) would last, so they developed the iPhone. They don’t think laptops will last, so they developed the iPad. They’re building something that doesn’t last…and they know it.
It’s time we all did.
Today it’s time to start thinking about the future, the time when what you’re working on today is obsolete. Plan for it. Change before you need to. Build something that truly lasts.
Have a great night,