Recently I have come across many (not saying a lot) articles and heard people complaining about loosing out on deals and business in general due to a fact that someone has ‘stolen their industry’ or ‘their business model’. It seems that people are looking more for the ones to be blamed forgetting that also at the time when they started their businesses probably someone felt the same about them. But the purpose of this blog is not to justify anyone, just to impose probably retorical question – do you really think that once you have your business running, you own something more than profits earned (apart from assets)? The short answer would be – ‘No’.
Just few days ago WhatsApp was bought by Facebook. Many started to write about losses to mobile industry accounting up to $33 Billion according to Bloomberg.
Free social-messaging applications like WhatsApp cost phone providers around the world — from Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) to America Movil SAB (AMXL)and Verizon Communications Corp. — $32.5 billion in texting fees in 2013, according to research from Ovum Ltd. That figure is projected to reach $54 billion by 2016.
For some time already banks have started losing their business to non-bank companies like PayPal, Starbuck’s, countless digital wallets, for example, Google Wallet. You can read more on that in blogs and articles. I would argue that counting losses is the worst thing to do. It is common that many industries are melting into one, businesses are transforming even without a so called ‘innovative disruption’. Diversification may happen (or may have happened) in vertical and horizontal levels by interfering with others business. Some companies are loosing out due to missed opportunities in past. Even it looks shady for some, consider what can you do next, as I am 100% certain that what we read Today is not an end of the story – so let’s do not miss our chances once more regardless of your industry!
Stop thinking of doing like everyone else – for example, if everyone goes digital so do we. It doesn’t work if you do not understand what your customer needs, what are the emotions and experiences behind and using your product. Great thought is mentioned by Wayne Busch and Juan Pedro Moren in recent Harvard Business Review article:
Banks cannot respond to these threats simply by “being more digital,”— i.e., closing down branches and rolling out better mobile and online banking services. If they want to defend their turf against the Googles and PayPals of the world, they themselves must move further into the commercial lives of their customers. They must learn to play a greater role not just at the moment of financial transactions but before and afterwards as well.
In my opinion, the bast way how to start transforming yourself and your business, if you feel that you are loosing out due to trends and changes that you cannot follow anymore would be – start by vision, think about your new strategy, start by understanding emotions of your customers, stop complaining and just start acting.