I grew up in Rochester, New York, home of Kodak. Kodak was a huge force in Rochester. It was a city all by itself, with over a hundred buildings. It was said that one out of each family in Rochester was employed by the company. I worked there myself, for a time, during college summer vacation.
Now Kodak has gone belly up. And this is why:
Though they were the biggest, most successful company in the photography industry, they failed to maintain their leadership role. They fell victim to incumbent inertia. Digital technology was rendering traditional film photography obsolete, but Kodak didn’t believe it would last.
They were wrong.
They simply did not perceive the threat of digital as real. They didn’t respond to digital because they thought they didn’t have to. They were shortsighted, thinking that their current markets would last indefinitely. They refused to look to the future. They didn’t give up their existing product lines, reasoning they would be foolish to displace proven winners in favor of technology that wasn’t yet proven by the marketplace. It wasn’t broke, they thought, so why fix it?
They refused to change with the times.
Not every new idea is a good one. But you owe it to your company, and yourself, to watch for new ideas, and to give each careful consideration. Don’t let the world get ahead of you. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a dangerous business approach. If your marketing breaks, it may be too late to fix it.