There is No Divine Right of Success in Business

There is no divine right of success in business. It used to be that if you got a Chrysler or GM dealership and were moderately competent (okay, even moderately incompetent) you could pretty much guarantee a nice living. It used be that lawyers and CPA’s at big firms didn’t get laid off. It used to be that becoming a doctor would guarantee success if you didn’t screw up too often. If litigation hasn’t killed that idea, universal health care will. It used to be that was hard to lose money owning the sole newspaper in a major city. Phone companies and yellow pages yellow pages have also joined the list of slow death industries.

It seems like the mean time between unstoppable and out of the game is getting smaller. It took a long time for newspapers and phone companies to be irrelevant but MySpace has already rocketed, peaked higher than the value of a slew of newspapers and is sliding down the chute toward irrelevance. ebay managed to kill newspaper classifieds (with help from Craig’s List), put a dent in phone companies with Skype and is now hitting big bumps. Don’t be surprised to see ebay slowly slip from the from the average person’s radar pretty fast.

There is no divine right of success in business. It takes constant creativity and flexibility. Now more than ever complacency will kill a business. Fast. Andy Grove was right. Only the paranoid survive.

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