Great piece in the New York Times about how a start up of 13 people was able to create a billion dollar giant in Instagram while Camera manufacturers sat on the sidelines. The king of cameras for a long time, Kodak recently filed for bankruptcy. This isn’t the only time this has happened. We have plenty of other examples of companies that thought they were the end all, that they had created something that was perfect and would stand the test of time.
Research In Motion
I remember at the beginning of the 21st century when Research In Motion’s BlackBerry was all the rage. If you had one, you seem to fit in with the upper echelon of society. They were even nicknamed ‘CrackBerrys’ for their addictive nature. They had created the smartphone so their mission was accomplished. But the along come Apple, Samsung, HTC and Motorola to name a few and suddenly Research In Motion is getting lapped by everyone. Much like Apple focused strictly on Schools in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Research In Motion focused on business people. I mean who would want to play games or share media on a phone right? It turns out lots of people wanted those things and bunch of apps to extend the usability and productivity of their phone. It’s funny that in a decade the same device that made you cool in the early 2000’s made you lame in the early 2010’s.
How many years does Microsoft have left? As personal computers and laptops keep getting phased out by tablets and smartphones and Microsoft rough entrance in to the smartphone market, common sense tells me that their time is limited. They created a product so awesome that most machines in the world ran on it. While they were busy patting themselves on the back for a job well done, companies like Apple and Google and Mozilla were sneaking into the castle. They’ve basically failed at every type of consumer electronic and their web browser, Internet Explorer is a joke. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have made browsing the internet fast as well as adding functionality to web browsing. Apple owns the tablet and smartphone world with Google’s Android system right behind. This is on of those scenarios where they tried to adapt to change instead of really innovating and changing themselves first.
Cable and Satellite
I don’t know if I am prejudiced because I just got my rockin Roku player (which I highly recommend you get by the way) but it seems more and more people are ditching cable and satellite and going to free over the air tv with and internet hookup to watch shows on Hulu PLus, Netflix and Crackle to name a few. In the past 3 years I have had Dish Network and Time Warner and they don’t let you pick the channels you want. In fact the most innovative thing that they’ve come up with in the last 10 years is on-demand programming. Many websites are now creating their own webtv series and since it’s on the internet, it’s always on demand. As soon as my contract’s up, I will be one of the one’s switching to free tv plus internet.
You’re Not Safe Either
What if I said that one day Facebook users would be fleeing the network like the plague is coming? You’d call me crazy. What if I said that Apple could be the laughing stock of the electronics industry. Again, crazy talk. But again, it could happen if they sit back and think they have it all figured out. If Google thinks that there will never be another search engine with a better algorithm for better search they’re only fooling themselves. These three have been good at constantly building on the foundation but if they ever stop to take a break, they could be MySpace in not time.