What Business Are You Really In?


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Many a business of yesteryear has come, flourished for a time and gone because they focused on pushing a product down the customer’s throat without paying attention to the needs and wants of the customer. The customer needs changed with time, sometimes because of technology, and the business failed to understand that. Railroad companies did not pay attention to the advent of the airplane and failed to comprehend that their business was transportation. Newspapers failed to understand that with the advent of the web, news was much more available for reading in real time and the customer did not have to wait for the printed articles and they are now a dying breed. They failed to acknowledge that they were in the information and not the advertising business.

There is another phenomenon occurring and an entire industry is again failing to understand the changes that are happening in the customer environment. The customer is now actively involved in the creation of information and entertainment at the same time because of the the capabilities of social media. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Flickr are allowing the customer to become involved in realtime in creating information and to a great extent their entertainment and now no longer are forced to sit and stare at a television set taking whatever programming is being dished out to them. Now they are literally involved in the programming of their own entertainment in real time by tweeting or posting on Facebook or the other social media sites.

The day of the TV conglomerates is fast disappearing and unless they begin to understand the changing needs of their customer base, they will soon vanish into oblivion. The day of the publishing companies is over and magazines and books are changing shape as we shift to digital format for this information. The music companies are also being forced to change their publishing methods and CDs, DVDs and all of the devices used to play them are soon to disappear.

Our world economy has shifted to one based mainly on information technology. Health care needs to be modified in this new world, law and its practice needs to be changed, contracts and the way they are signed. And as this happens, jobs that were available will continue to disappear; we no longer need meter readers because the information can now be transmitted electronically; medical transcribers will disappear as we get medical records in digital format and physicians begin to use the power of posting electronic information in realtime. The post office is becoming a thing of the past and the postman soon won’t ring at all just like how the telegram delivery service went away a long time ago.

If this is not scary enough, it is just a matter of time before the parcel post companies like Fedex and UPS will begin to disappear as we move into the realm of “Beam me up Scotty”.

Let us stop there. This path is becoming too frightening to follow.

What business are you in???

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Smith
YCHANGE International
Jim Smith mentors entrepreneurial start-ups and counsels small to mid sized companies that are looking to expand or are under performing or under capitalized.


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