“But it is unfair!” the man from a German car manufacturer said to me. “Those new companies who are getting into the car business.” (He meant Google, Apple, Tesla… Wikispeed.) “They don’t have all these legacy systems that we have to maintain.”
Indeed, I thought, and what exactly is the problem? Start a new company, if you prefer the new over the old.
It is as Clayton Christensen wrote in his famous book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Large businesses have existing customers, with existing systems, in an existing environment. It’s what made them successful. In the past. However, when disruptive innovations enter the marketplace, the legacy organizations reject those innovations, because the new products and services don’t match the existing infrastructure.
That’s why the new kids on the block have it easier. They are not bothered by bureaucracies that favor the old technologies. They don’t have to explain to current customers that the new technology will be a better choice, in the long run. They don’t have to deal with labor unions that fear change as if it is the black plague. And they don’t have government policies imposed on them, forcing them to slow down.
Is that unfair?
Is it unfair that young people have faster legs, stronger hearts, and better looks than I have? I might be envious, but I’m comforted by the idea that it won’t be for very long.
The small, nimble companies will have the same problems ten or twenty years from now. By then they will be big, old and slow, and it will be their turn to face even newer disruptive innovations, complain about their legacy problems, and be displaced by smaller, more nimble businesses.
And by that time, I will be even older and slower. Not bigger, I hope. And I will have said the same words many times:
Galaxies come and go, planets get formed and destroyed, species emerge and go extinct, civilizations grow up and go down, people get born and get buried, and technologies appear and get lost.
Systems are neither fair nor unfair. They just are.
The only thing that will always remain the same, is people whining about it.
I’ve decided not to whine about the steady loss of my youth and beauty. I will just enjoy things while they last, making a bit of fun, a bit of money, and a bit of a difference to the world around me. I hope you will too.
We are sick of hearing people say what we can’t do. We just ignore them and do it too! We feature the quote from the fantastic movie of The Princess Bride. What movie quote speaks to your life as an entrepreneur? Tell us below!