Regardless of the type of job or industry, there have been, and will continue to be, technological advancements that will make people more efficient and productive — yet also potentially underutilized. The effects of these transformations are important to understand.
A recent example of transformative technology is blockchain, which is the underlying technology for cryptocurrency. Blockchain has the ability to transform the way business is done and has impacted multiple industries including accounting, music, and how mortgages are transacted.
When you begin to realize that a type of technology can affect and/or threaten your business or industry, there are three potential courses of action:
Businesses have the best chance of surviving if they adopt the philosophy of #3 — and evolve. There have been multiple times in history when business owners or companies embraced technology to make their people and processes more efficient, i.e. Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM. There have also been many companies, such as Xerox, Kodak, and JC Penney, who were once historical titans and are now dinosaurs because they refused to embrace the technological changes that were evident in their respective industries.
It is important to learn from these historical lessons and take the time to examine your business and how you approach the changes. Today it’s blockchain; many industries are starting to realize the power and potential this technology has to positively shape their future. Tomorrow there will surely be another technology that will have a similar impact, but the approach to whatever it is needs to be the same—to understand, embrace, and evolve.
As I write this, I’m reminded of a previous podcast and subsequent blog post about Josh Grabelle, founder and president of Bullet Tooth. As a professional in the music business, Josh embraced Napster when it first came out and chose to view streaming as an opportunity for exposure, rather than as a threat. While many of the big businesses in the industry fought against this technology, he saw that the music industry was evolving and used the transformation as a marketing tool.
The decisions that business owners make today will determine whether or not they will evolve with the times or become a memory of the past. Great companies are not necessarily the ones that set trends, but rather understand their customer as well as how to best integrate technological advancements, creating a win/win situation.
Take-away: It is important to understand the core principles of the technology transformation that are occuring in your industry and determine the best way to turn a threat to your business into an opportunity.
Contact us with your questions about how technology may impact your industry.
If you have questions, please contact us.
Co-founders & Managing Partners