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BLOG: How to fight irrelevance in the Digital Age

Seamus Bellamy | Dec. 7, 2011
Even companies behind today's technology can suffer the fate of brands like Kodak. These points can keep your business from joining them.

If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that technology needn't be the death of a business. With planning, patience, and above all else, flexibility, your business can weather a paradigm shift in technology, too.

3. These Days, Dead Doesn't Necessarily Mean Dead

A year before Kodak gave up on producing film, Polaroid opted to throw in the towel on instant-film photography in order to focus resources on its growing digital technology portfolio.

That same year, a group of former Polaroid employees founded the Impossible Project--a company devoted to the continuing production of film for Polaroid instant cameras. Purchasing Polaroid's production machinery and renting space from the company that same year, the Impossible Project cranked out its first new instant films for Polaroid cameras two years later, and in the process became a niche business success story.

San Francisco's DODOcase is another great example of a company using the sour grapes of a dying industry to make sweet wine. As the demand for digitally published books has risen, the fortunes of professional bookbinders has waned. Instead of sending such skilled workers out in search employment, DODOcase opted to embrace their skill sets, repurposing years of bookbinding experience that was once directed towards protecting tomes to wrapping tablet computers, iPhones, and e-readers in leather-bound splendor.

If you're passionate about your company's products or services, chances are, others will be as well. Don't give up in the face of sweeping changes to the market. While it may not be true in every instance, perseverance, passion and genius might just see both you and your organization through troubled technological waters.

 

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