Why Your Business Must Adapt to Change

Many businesses are terrified of change, despite the fact that change is a reality happening all around us. Of course, businesses have valid reasons to be afraid of shifts in technology and norms. Changes within industries — while often forces of good — can put people out of work and can lead to insurmountable hurdles for those who are unprepared. While it’s practical for businesses to want to maintain the status quo, technology will continue to evolve and society’s habits will move along with it. Evolving as a business is the only way to achieve a long lasting imprint on society.

Today, empires are being built not on applications but on platforms and their APIs . The industrial age was linear in thinking, while the new application age is exponential like a rocket’s trajectory. A penny doubling every day would equal $10.7 million on Day 31. Are you still thinking linearly as a business? If so, you would be wise to stop and carefully rethink your approach.

Historically linear business models are failing in the modern age. In 1975, for example, Steven Sasson told his employer, Kodak, that he had developed the digital camera — a device that took 50 milliseconds to capture an image, 23 seconds to record it to a cassette tape and 30 seconds to put it up as a 100x100 pixel black and white image on a TV set. Kodak confined Sasson to the basement and made sure his product never saw the light of day, simply because the photo giant was making money on each step of the photography process — including sales of paper and chemicals. Kodak’s thinking was linear, and also the reason why the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

The telecommunications industry is now in a period of shift. The last century saw the invention of the transistor, which gave birth to the information technology industry and produced waves of communications advances for humanity. As we develop more networking, semiconductor and software technology, we simultaneously advance into uncharted territory for applied technologies such as connected machines and sensors, mobile applications and adaptive, self-learning robots. This has affected all aspects of the industry.

It seems possible that Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors in a dense circuit has doubled approximately every two years throughout the history of computing hardware, is now approaching the end of its life. Transistors have become so small that shrinking them any further will drive up costs; the better solution of cloud computing is now taking over.

The trick for businesses trying to adapt to their industries today is to find a category in the market, build a platform around the category and dominate it — no matter how narrow its focus. Build a brand to own that market category and deliver the best product and service surrounding that brand.

You can move your company from a train to a rocket by keeping your focus on the goal of exponential growth and niche market domination. Consider your ecosystems and remember to never limit yourself with possibilities for advancement.

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