Some are gone, others were relegated by more innovative brands. These are important learnings from companies who had innovation myopia:


1.KODAK – The technology company led the photography market in the 20th century, but did not see the shift to digital photography. It’s interesting that a KODAK engineer, Steve Sasson actually created digital photography, but management rejected it because it didn’t use film, which was KODAK’s big market at the time.


  1. XEROX: Another company that lost its edge, Xerox was the first company to create the PC and was ahead of its time, however, the CEO at the time thought Xerox’s future lay in copying machines. Xerox failed to understand you cannot make money forever by using the same technology.


  1. NOKIA: The Finnish company created the first mobile phone network. With the advent of the internet, other companies understood the future of mobile communications was data and not voice. Nokia continued to focus on creating hardware and not software. In 2008 they launched their first Smartphone, but it was too late, the market had already changed.


  1. BLOCKBUSTER: The company was at its peak in 2004: they made the switch from VHS to DVD, but couldn’t foresee the move to delivery (let alone streaming). As Netflix shifted its business model to delivery, then streaming, and then… well, everything we already know, Blockbuster remained focused on how to make its stores more eye-catching. The company went bankrupt in 2010.


  1. YAHOO: In 2005 Yahoo was leading the online advertising business. However, their mistake was underestimating the ‘search’ business and focusing on being a media company. Interestingly, Yahoo had the opportunity to acquire Google in 2002 and Facebook in 2006, but they didn’t reach agreements due to their CEO’s myopia, avoiding risks. If they had taken them, perhaps we would be Yahooing instead of Googling …


Don’t let your brand lose focus on trends … they will always end up arriving, sooner or later.


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