If you want to sum up today’s business climate in a few simple words, look no further than Bob Dylan’s 50-year-old anthem: “The times they are a-changin’.”
Not so long ago, many manufacturers profitably turned out products that now have been replaced by advancing technology. Companies that tried to hold onto the status quo lost ground or disappeared. Those that worked to reinvent themselves lived to flourish another day.
Not unique to industry, this trend is also apparent in service-related businesses such as Gotham and its sister companies, X-Factor and MarketingGhost. A few years ago, social media marketing, responsive website design and virtual marketing services were nowhere to be found in our promotional material. Now, we offer these, and many other services and products, to help our industrial clients keep up with technology and interface with prospects on their turf.
Like many other successful companies, we reinvented ourselves. But companies failing to reinvent themselves may be in danger of disappearing. Stall Points, published by Yale University Press and written by Matthew S. Olson and Derek van Bever, surmises that if a company encounters a major stall in its growth, the chance of a full recovery is less than 10 percent.
If reinvention is so important, why do companies let themselves stagnate? Some fail to stick with their mission. Others stick with it too long. Or, perhaps they misinterpret evolving consumer tastes and habits, or turn a blind eye to them. But whether acknowledged or not, the evidence of change is all around us.
For example, those of us who frequently travel by car used to keep our glove boxes stuffed full of maps. Then came the pricey GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers and we forgot all about our maps. Now, many GPS receivers gather dust while smartphones not only handle our calls and text our messages, but also direct our travels and even put a word processor at our fingertips.
The changes are everywhere. Do you still wear a wristwatch, or does your smartphone provide you the time? Do you carry a camera, or does your smartphone capture your photos? And, do you even know where your phone book is? Technology has changed our world and – ready or not – it is going to change our businesses.