A lot is made of the successes of Uber, Amazon, Apple, Airbnb, and Google.
‘Category Kings’ is what Al Ramadan, Dave Person, Christopher Lochhead, and Kevin Maney would call them in their book Play Bigger.
They crush the competition and become the space with which they helped create. Who searches anymore when you can ‘google’?
Similarly, there are a lot of lessons shared from the failures to embrace change at companies such as Blockbuster, Kodak, Borders, and Sears.
Too little, too late.
But what about the Charles Schwab’s or the Walgreens?
These are organizations that have adapted to the changing landscape – multiple times over decades and decades of existence.
Charles Schwab faced the initial idea of internet trading and adjusted. Charles Schwab continues to face the challenge of online trading but has made “Chuck” synonymous with investment and retirement planning.
Walgreens faced down countless competitors, both online and off and has remained on top. Remember drugstore.com was going to crush them? Walgreens bought them. And now, Walgreens is in almost every city in the US with little real competition.
It’s tempting to be drawn to the allure of something new – the bright shiny business object. But what’s even sexier, at least to me, is something old thriving with change. That’s hot!
References and Resources
- A great article on Digital Adaptability
- Al Ramadan, Dave Person, Christopher Lochhead, and Kevin Maney – Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets: For more on ‘Category Kings.’
- Jim Collins – Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t: Jim Collins and team studied Walgreens climb in a crowded sector.