Are You Today’s Buggy Whip?

An enduring business must offer more than today’s product and serve more than today’s industries. Products come and go, as do industries. Just ask the buggy whip manufacturers. Outside of a few religious sects, the product and the industry are dead.

If they had seen themselves as “guidance and speed control” experts, demand would be sky high today for their expertise. They wouldn’t be working with leather and they likely wouldn’t be relying on local sales.

You may think a mission of grand proportions and a value statement of equally grand proportions is silly. What is silly is going out of business because you think too small.

Let’s say you design, make and sell catalytic converters to the automobile industry. Your future is short term and dreary. Every major manufacturer is emphasizing conversion to electric vehicles, which do not need your product. You’ve known that is coming for years, and today it is in your face.

Yes, improving efficiencies offered near term value over the past decades, but it doesn’t position a business to endure. I hope you saw yourself as more than your product and more than your industry long ago. If so, your future can be very bright.

If you simply want to ride your horse until it dies, you can. It’s likely sicker than you realize.

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