Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bye Bye Blackberry?

In case you missed it, Joseph Nocera, had an insightful piece in yesterday’s NY Times about companies who get paralyzed by early success and forget how to adapt when market forces or other competitive dynamics come into play.

From Wang Computer in the 1970s to Research in Motion (aka Blackberry) today, the technology industry is littered with companies who were not nimble, ruthless or willing enough to “disrupt their own business models when they sense a threat on the horizon.”

It’s not only complacency or lack of fresh ideas that comes into play, but the alliances and strategic partnerships (tech folks call those the installed base), makes it harder to operate and harder to compete.
Same goes for law firms, accounting firms, financial planning firms and insurance pros. It’s good to get bigger, stronger, more powerful and hopefully wealthier—but it’s almost impossible to have a lock on the marketplace for long. Your premium service can become a competitor’s loss-leader in a flash. Your top talent can bail out on you at a moment’s notice and your clients might not be complaining overtly (but chances are they’re shopping around).

I recently succumbed to pressure from peers (not to mention my kids), and purchased an Android smartphone to replace my creaky Blackberry. My typing stinks on the new device and I’ve misdialed a few numbers, but the apps are great, it’s highly intuitive and my overall productivity is higher after just a few days.

To make sure you’re staying lean and mean, check out our Gut Check self-assessment test or other
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Macro View
Consumer confidence paused in August, mortgage rates are rising, residential home construction rose less than expected in July and the stock market had its worst week of the year. If you think that’s cause for alarm, then think again. The financial markets are up 16 to 18 percent for the year, housing starts cranked out another 6 percent last month and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan is still near its six-year high. If some investors (e.g. profit-takers) are using this as a cause for alarm it’s like worrying about Detroit Tigers slugger, Miguel Cabrera having only a few big hits last week. When you’re hitting north of .360 for the year, even going one-for-three once in a while will take your batting average down a few tick, but you’re still putting up MVP numbers.

It’s easy to get complacent at this time of year when the weather is hot, workspace are half empty and the “Out of Office” replies outnumber your received emails. Don’t give in and wait for after Labor Day. Now’s the time to drop the email device and see clients and prospects in person. They’ll appreciate the effort and relish the chance simply to talk and listen, rather than having to type, post and scroll. 

More tips can be found on the FREE Resources page of our website.


Tags: Joseph Nocera, Wang Computer, Blackberry demise, complacency, unable to adapt

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