Stupid Survives Until Smart Succeeds
“Stupid Survives Until Smart Succeeds”
What an interesting concept. It goes along with this story
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders
Bookselling had never really been about bricks and mortar. It had always been about sharing authors’ ideas in ways that customers were willing to pay to enjoy. Barnes & Noble understood. They were slower than Jeff Bezos at recognizing how the web would shape consumer behaviour, but they still took barnesandnoble.com public within two years of amazon.com. That’s impressive catch-up adaptation.
As a result of still playing the game of adaptability against amazon.com, they still kept learning from experience and their competition. It’s one of those positions where each rival benefits from moves designed to get ahead of a rival. Together, and with others in the industry, including Sony and Apple, they are growing the market. Together with the other players they are moving further ahead of non-players.
So while amazon.com were first to develop an e-book reader – the Kindle – barnesandnoble.com were still able to bring out a viable alternative – the Nook – within a couple of years. Borders took another year to even start selling e-books. The service was provided by a third party. And they never did develop an e-book reader of their own. The difference is significant, more than enough to slow or stop any effective adaptation.
Every situation provides information. If you know what the situation is demanding then you can try to adapt but the connection between situation and response can be damaged. The connection can get slower. It can stop working. Or it can send distorted signals. A disconnect between what the situation needs and what is done can become permanent. You can have a chronic mismatch between situation, intention and action.
[ In 2011 Borders, the nation’s second-largest book chain, filed for bankruptcy protection. ]
Many people get the quote from Darwin wrong. It’s not “the survival of the fittest”. The correct quote … “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
The situation changes every day. As the tagline for the History Channel says, “History. Made every day”. And they say there is a recession. How many traditional companies and organizations – merely surviving – will fall victim to Smart seizing the disconnect between situation and response? The opportunity exists every day; the possibilities are unlimited. Change is unstoppable. What are you waiting for?