As Good as your Last Hair-Cut

By Hemant Mishrra

When you do not want to understand the changing world, changing consumers, changing buying habits, changing technology-YOU DIE.

But it is not an icepick job, it is a slow death.

Some brands do not get it. They love their past success so much that they refuse to change anything in their success formula. They are oblivious to the rapid changes around them and they work very hard to drive their brands to ground.

Blackberry smart-phones had great run in India. They were the most respected business phones. Then they lost the plot. The young India wanted more action. Samsung provided this. Even market leader Nokia failed in the litmus test. Blackberry has lost ground and market share-Nokia is trying hard to regain the lost ground.

In 1970, Swiss watches had 65 % world market share. They invented the digital technology in watches. Then they sold this technology to Seiko company of Japan. Japan raced ahead with digital technology and cornered 35 % of world market. Today Swiss watches have only 10 % market share.

Kodak’s declaration of bankruptcy closed a glorious chapter in the history of photography.
With the introduction of the first automatic snapshot camera more than 110 years ago, Kodak transformed photography into a hugely popular activity that became an integral part of people’s lives.   When the world was changing to digital, the company resisted the change, still believing that digital photography was a fad and people will come back to beautiful hard prints. It did not happen, and company became history.

Fiat and ambassador cars were wiped out- as they believed that their old non-functional technology would appeal to customers for next thousand years.

So, in these crazy and turbulent times, how does one cope?

There are a few tips to survive this mad environment:

  •  Accept that world is changing faster than you can imagine. Apart from death and taxes, the only other thing, which is certain, is continuous change.
  • Selectively abandon the past. Whatever has worked in past is not going to work for you in future. Don’t hold on to old products, old strategies, old technology which is not relevant anymore.
  • Only two things will decide your future- good people and good innovation.
  • You will become history, if you aim to survive in these uncertain times. Survival is not enough. You need to aim at leadership position.
  • Be bold and take risks and do not worry about failures.

“Ships are safest in the harbor-but they are not meant to be there.”
Woody Allen said,” If you are not failing now and again-it is clear that you are not doing anything innovative”

 In today’s world, you cannot drive your car looking at the rear view mirror. There is no rear view mirror in your car.

You are as good as your last hair cut.

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