“…but how do you keep up the pace and the hunger pangs once you’ve won the race” – Eminem
We all have goals, don’t we?
Getting first position in class, being among the school government, making a difference in the organization, going viral online, impressing the boss, making our first million, etc. Now, read all the above again and add yours to the list. There’s one similarity between all. NONE IS PERMANENT!
Relaxing after achieving a goal is one of the weakest mindset anyone can ever have. Change will always come, it’s inevitable. It isn’t enough to be relevant, you have to remain relevant. Major companies made that mistake and it caused their downfall. They reached the skies and forgot that there’s more above it. Maybe they are the inspirations behind the saying, “The sky is your starting point”. No much talk, let’s learn from some of the failed companies.
- BLOCKBUSTER: “All work and no play…” right? A lot of us 90’s kids grew up with movies but to watch it meant to physically rent it. The internet wasn’t this big then. Now, we still rent or download but from Netflix and DSTV. Blockbuster didn’t go online, forgetting that it’s not every time we will be physically present to watch a movie. So, as the internet got more popular, they made less sales, leading to their stores around the world closing one after the other. There’s still a Blockbuster store left in Australia though. They replaced videotapes with the more recent DVDs and the location owner owns the building so he’s not paying rent to anyone. But currently, the bulk of their customers are those born in the past two decades. What happens when they aren’t present anymore?
- COMPAQ: The first tech company to beat the mighty IBM at its PC production game. But little after acquiring DEC, a company with different production plans as them, Compaq began having problems. Then they tried changing their strategy suddenly from retail-oriented to direct marketing cutting off their retail vendor connections. A year later, sales declined. Three years after that, HP acquired them. As hard as they tried staying on top of their game, it just didn’t work out for them.
- KODAK: Royce Da 5’9”, a rapper, sang in one of his songs that, “Knowledge is power but powerless if you got it and do not acknowledge it”. We all knew that they were the best camera company back in the 20th century, topping the black and white film era but did you know that it was one of their employees that made the first ever digital camera but they told him to keep quiet about it. Basically because they feared it would affect the film industry. Well, they were right, it did but it favored other companies that took the initiative. Kodak still exists though but they can barely keep their neck above the water.
- NOKIA: That special tune, the hands meeting at startup and a bunch of ringtones, bring memories. But those memories began to cease when Nokia started losing connections with people in the dawn of the internet as well as touch screen technology, concentrating more on their hardware. They tried bouncing back but it was too late. They had died in the eyes of mobile phone lovers. They are back though and with really good phones too but you can’t mention them among the top markets currently.
- TOYS ‘R’ US: I have a kid sister. I remember buying her toys as a birthday gift in her first five years. She would be excited for a couple of days and then treat the toy like it never existed. But then, till now, she’s always updated about the latest mobile games and how I should download them. I felt the toys would be as disappointed as Andy’s toys in Disney’s Toy Story 3. I get the point though, technology is getting more advanced. This is just one of the numerous reasons for the downfall of the famous toy supermarket though.
Of course, lots of points could be gotten from these experiences but there are some that stand out. Most of these companies failed to realize the trend. They failed to see that things were growing and they just had too much faith in the popularity of their brand names, refusing to make current market moves. These could be applied to our everyday goals. Are we to achieve and go? NO. There’s always more to be done to stay on top of our game. Remember, your ending point could be someone’s starting point. If you know, beyond all reasonable doubt, that you can’t move further, why not be the one to train others? It’s another goal, you know? Helping others succeed.
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