In the last few months, we all hear people are expressing their mixed emotions about the current situation and how easy or difficult they find to adapt to ‘the new normal’.
I understand that we are very different, but at the end of the day, there is the hard truth that slaps you in the face:
IF YOU DON’T ADAPT, YOU DIE.
As Bob Proctor says:
‘Change is inevitable. But personal growth is a choice.’
I think this applies to many areas of life.
If you don’t adapt, you die… or at least make your life and the situation a lot more difficult…
Just think about it…
If you get ill, you have to adapt to new habits to heal yourself whether it’s taking medication, going for regular physio or changing your lifestyle.
If you are getting divorced or getting out of a long-term relationship, you have to adapt to the new rules, that maybe your now ex-partner used to take care of. Like taking out the garbage, dealing with the landlord, or changing the lightbulbs. [I hate them all…]
In business, you have to adapt to the change that is going on in your industry or else you can easily find yourself out of business pretty soon….
There has been a lot of BIG FAILURES in history that we can learn from.
I brought you 3 today.
Blockbuster, Kodak and Nokia
Before STREAMING existed, if you wanted to see a movie from the comfort of your own home, you had to go to a store and RENT a VHS (if you are old enough to remember) or a DVD. You were able to rent it for 24 hours and you usually had to bring it back by 6pm the following day. If you were working until 5pm, it’s near to impossible, which made shit loads of money to the store on LATE FEES. — smart. Not fair, but smart.
Blockbuster was blooming since the first store opened in 1977 until it’s peak in the early 2000’s… Yet, they filed for bankruptcy in 2010.
THEY HAVE FAILED TO ADAPT.
The reason why Blockbuster failed is because they refused to make any changes or adaptations in their business model.
Who was there competition? Netflix.
Their business model originally was: mail-order DVD rentals.
Netflix kept continuing its innovative business practices and literally swiped rentals, movie theaters, and live TV off the map. — maybe a bit of a stretch, but just think about how often do you rent a DVD, go to the cinema or watch live TV to compare to watching Netflix.
Imagine the CEO of Blockbuster… I wouldn’t want to be him after seeing what could I have achieved if I was ballsy enough.
And wait until I tell you, that Blockbuster was actually offered a merger deal by CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, in 2000.
Kodak’s Downfall Wasn’t About Technology.
About 20+ years ago, Kodak’s core business was selling film, it is not hard to see why the last few decades were extremely challenging.
Cameras went digital and then disappeared into cellphones.
People went from printing pictures to sharing them online.
I remember the summer before I went to study photography (yes, originally I’m a photographer.). We used to develop hundreds of Kodak films each day… People came home from their holiday and their first trip was to the studio. They could have their photos developed by the next day, or it was cheaper if they waited 3 days, and even cheaper if they were waiting a week.
Imagine that you can’t see the photo you just took… For days or for weeks…
Kodak was so insanely successful. What could have possibly happen?
Kodak was so blinded by its own success that it completely missed the rise of digital technologies.
It’s even more annoying, that the first prototype of a digital camera was created in 1975 by Steve Sasson, an engineer working for … Kodak.
The camera was as big as a toaster, took 20 seconds to take an image, had low quality, and required complicated connections to a television to view the image.
But it clearly had massive potential.
Doing something and doing the right thing are also different things.
The next mistake was that they were trying to match performance of traditional film rather than embrace the simplicity of digital.
They still didn’t get it and didn’t want to let go of their original business model.
Before Mark Zuckerberg even started to dream of Facebook, Kodak bought a photo-sharing site called Ofoto in 2001. It was so close.
Imagine if Kodak had truly embraced its historical tagline of “share memories, share life.” —– ONLINE!!!
But they still wanted to print…
Kodak created a digital camera, invested in the technology, and even understood that photos would be shared online.
They still failed because they didn’t realize that online photo sharing WAS the new business, not just a way to expand the printing business.
Sometimes expanding isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to pivot.
In October 1998, Nokia became the best-selling mobile phone brand in the world.
Nokia’s operating profit went from $1 billion in 1995 to almost $4 billion by 1999
The best-selling mobile phone of all time, the Nokia 1100, was created in 2003
In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone
Nokia didn’t adapt to the change early enough and fast enough.
The traditional phones changed to smartphones and the company could not manage with the pace of the changing technology. That is why Nokia failed.
Gradually, the mobile phone industry became saturated with a lot of companies targeting the same people. Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, and Nokia all were the leading players, but in this race of competition, Nokia did not improve and lost to the other players.
Both Apple and Samsung got the hold of the excellent game plan, which Nokia couldn’t, and they have created a flagship phone for themselves.
Flagship product means that it is the latest and greatest from a brand.
These companies release a new version of these products every year with additional features, and even though the market of smartphones is overly saturated, the release of a new version of the phone still gets public excitement. I mean… People set up tents and sleep on the street in front of the store when a new iPhone comes out…
In the case of Nokia, apart from all the problems discussed above, lack of vision was also a problem.
This is why it is essential that before you start a business, you must know what it is that you want to achieve!
DREAM! FANTASIZE! HAVE GOALS! BIG GOALS!
I know that the change is big. We are not safe to hug, we are not safe to travel, we can’t shake hands anymore let alone kiss someone, we can’t open our businesses… Yes, our life and out freedom has been affected.
How you respond to it is up to you. Fight against it or adapt to it?
Remember: ‘Change is inevitable. Personal growth is a choice.’
It doesn’t matter if you are a Nokia, Kodak or a nail tech or a personal trainer. Your industry is evolving WITH OR WITHOUT you.
The World is changing WITH or WITHOUT you.
If you want to stay in the game, you have to keep up, adopt and sometimes pivot. AND YOU CAN TOTALLY DO IT.