Wednesday, December 23, 2015
This roster of tech companies that were losers in 2015 is a reminder to PR practitioners, as if they needed one. Nothing is permanent. Few companies last 50 years. Fewer still remain in business for 100 or more. When one thinks about old-line industries -- autos, industrial equipment, chemicals -- the number of survivors is miniscule by comparison to the beginning of their businesses. For example, at one time there were 300 auto companies in the US, all vying to be the permanent replacement of the horse-drawn carriage. The same consolidation is taking place among tech firms and in 25 years there will be fewer of them once the Internet of Things is fully developed. There will be a few giants who have the prospects of remaining for the long run and tiny firms hoping to sell out to them. There is no guarantee that Amazon, Apple or Google will still be in business or Hewlett-Packard or IBM. All these companies face renewal when they have to shift their businesses dramatically to survive -- as HP already has done and IBM is attempting. If nothing is permanent, how does one position a company for the long term? The only solution is in-depth listening to and observation of customers -- what they need -- and rapid fulfillment of their desires.