We’ve all heard of the complaint by older generations that things were different back in their days. Not to sound axiomatic, but things change and so should people. The ones who complain incessantly are generally those who didn’t adapt.
However, at what stage should you adapt? Technology is constantly evolving. Social media changes as often as I want cookies.
In the end, everybody hates change. For example, every time Facebook makes an update, there’s a new online petition protesting it. If it ain’t broke, do you fix it? But if you don’t change, will you be left behind?
Before change, you must determine the reason why you’re changing. It must answer your goals, strategies and tactics. You don’t just do it because everybody else is doing it. That’s a disastrous idea.
Take the following logos as examples. The first is by University of California (UC) that changed this month, December 2012.
UC changed their logo because they wanted to appeal to a younger crowd. However, it took away the prestige of a renowned university system. As a graduate of UCLA, I was a proud Bruin. With this new logo, I’m not so proud anymore.
Through social media resistance, Gap and Tropicana also pulled their new changes off the shelf.
Should they have experimented with focus groups? Maybe.
Is change better than no change? We’ve all heard of these corporate blunders through blind complacency.
Kodak skipped the digital age, so Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Sony … took over.
Blockbuster continued late fee penalties and dismissed online streaming, so Netflix capitalized that market.
Borders outsourced to Amazon.com, so Amazon now holds the golden key to online retail and book purchases.
IBM only concerned itself with big mainframe computers and ignored the small desktop publishers; now Apple is the most valuable company in the world.
Xerox never thought small copiers were useful, so a Canon copier now sits in my office today.
Myspace, Friendster and other social media platforms didn’t … well, you know their stories. The list goes on and on.
In the end, disrupt the status quo and innovate in a niche where your strengths excel. Forecast the future and journey an uncharted course. Of course, make sure it makes follows your goals and strategies.
It’s hard to make a change … disruptive change is the only way to avoid [a plateau] …
Customers don’t buy products; they hire them to fill a need … The idea is to play in a market where nobody else is playing … And meet the need so well that you’re in great demand.
— Harvard Business Review Disrupt Yourself
As a recap on “need,” take Netflix for example. Blockbuster required people to drive to their stores and charged late fees when rentals were past due. Netflix mailed the movie to you and never charged a late fee. Furthermore, Blockbuster failed to catch on with technological clouds. Netflix harnessed the power of streaming and integrated it with every flatscreen TV, Blu-Ray box and mobile device. Ubiquitous.
All in all, change does not come easily. And the need to change is not obvious until it’s too late. But don’t change so much that you become foreign. People revel in the comforts of familiarity.
In order to be able to recognize the need to change, you must always educate yourself. Start with subscribing to this blog!
Have you been disruptive recently? Comment below.
Enjoy being disruptive,
P.P.S. Saw this hilarious photo by Jamilia Jean! I missed my calling. I should have become a children’s photographer. Happy holidays!