Published July 8, 2013
The reality of maturing and growth companies is the lens of change is up close and personal yet, simultaneously far from sight. This duality places companies in a opportunity to advance or fight to hold position by living off of past accomplishments. It was my vision that some mega companies we know today that have provided us phone and pad technologies will within ten years soon fall if innovation cannot not be sustained. The news of one such, mega giant stating the news of “RIP, WebTV: Microsoft to shut down MSN TV on Sept. 30” is one example for the need of lifecycle analyses and continuous innovation.”
How can some great companies who have changed our lifestyle and advanced innovation close within ten years is based on past innovations can easily be out shined by the present products and services of today. The captive market share and consumer loyalty because of technology is subject to change based on the next-new-thing or cost. This positionality is not only placed on the shoulders of big companies but every organizations responsibility to produce continuous improvements.
The difference between big and small business is in highly capitalized firms can market past the prime of their innovation and miss the opportunity to innovate; whereas, small businesses realize quickly and/or overtime that their service or product market has changed by sales cycles.
- IBM held onto mainframes despite innovation to move to PC applications.
- OEM’s in automotive were not quick to embrace the small vehicle market while continuing to produce large SUV’s past the prime of consumer demand and fuel changes.
- News portals displacing social media and online media before news services failed.
- Search systems not regarding the access of data from social media sites that are aggregators of data from users.
- Telecom manufacturers resisting the failure of some systems that reduced capabilities and consumer market share.
These are a few examples but many more exist. The news of Microsoft ending its “MSN TV, a service formerly known as WebTV, as Apple ramps up its set-top box efforts will shut down September 30. Microsoft revealed in an e-mail to subscribers and in an FAQ posted to its Web site. WebTV, which was founded by Web entrepreneur Steve Perlman in 1996, was acquired by Microsoft for $425 million in 1997. The software giant even offered the interactive service for free to new MSN online service, but it has largely taken a backseat to the company’s focus on the Xbox game console, which also offers Internet access. Apple is reportedly near a deal with Time Warner Cable that would bring new a significant influx of new channels to the computer maker’s set-top box, Apple TV, for subscribers of the cable television service. Last month, Apple TV lassoed Time Warner Inc.‘s HBO GO and Disney’s WatchESPN apps,” reported from CNET.
Often, innovation comes from outside of the expansive architecture of the company but, from third parties or self-operating teams that have the opportunity to innovate and advance new technologies (example Perlman). The next dilemma is in having leadership embrace these innovations and place investment in an unknown idea derived outside of the company.
The emergence of markets that seem not to uphold free market opportunities can be the same effect as placing blinders around the eyes of a horse to prevent startling. The same blinders may apply as new technologies engage consumer market share while others fail to unearth the missing gap(s) that led to the others downturn. It s hard to remain innovative forward but it behooves the organization which effects the ecosystem to consider the risk when not.