Business history is littered with companies that did well for a period of time but lost their edge because they didn’t know how to step up their game. There are more examples of this than I have time to write but the tech industry is maybe the best recent example. Think of companies like Motorola, Blackberry, AOL, My Space, Netscape, Google Glass, TiVo and the list could go on and on. They all had one thing in common. Their product didn’t evolve, and company leadership got stagnate with existing success and didn’t see the freight train (competition) coming straight at them.
It is terribly difficult to grow a company and a mindset. Take Apple as an example. They were just another computer company that were getting pounded by the IBM platform, laptops and desktop computers. That is until they developed the iPod in 2001. The iPod was a hand-held device that played downloaded music but enabled Apple to envision the future of the hand-held mobile market. Once they launched the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010, it was the start of a revolution that would change how people communicated. The laptop and personal desktop computer began to fade into yesterday’s technology.
No company and no person have all the advantage, momentum and ideas. Every company has areas where they are better than the competition and areas where they are worse. Many times, success comes from knowing and understanding what you are good at and learning how to tell that story. I love when I see a product that has stood the test time and is still demand. Take a yellow #2 pencil. It was invented in 1795 by Dixon Ticonderoga and that company it still today one of the world’s leading school supply companies.
Stepping up you game many times starts with a real honest inventory of what areas you are good at and expanding on those. There is always a freight train (competition) coming regardless of your line of work but if you don’t get complacent, many times you can hold the course and remain relevant. KT