The market changes every day, and only businesses that learn to adapt and take advantage of those changes can prosper for long. Nearly every industry can provide an example of a prominent and successful business that faded away because it could not evolve, or of a small business that rocketed to success by anticipating changes. Studying those businesses teaches valuable lessons that every manager can apply to make sure that their business becomes one of the success stories.
The Car Industry
The Chrysler PT Cruiser shows that even a successful product can turn into a disaster over time if it does not receive the right updates. The original design launched in 2000, and the car remained in production for a decade.
It was fairly successful when it first launched. Not only did it win several awards, it also proved popular with the general public, which gave it excellent sales. The car's retro design made it stand out from the crowd and appealed to consumers that liked its classic appearance. The car only ran into trouble after it had been in production for years. The tastes of the general public started to shift away from the retro design, and its popularity made it seem less unique and exciting. At the car's lowest point, Top Gear magazine rated it as the worst car in the past 20 years.
The car's history shows that adaptation is a constant process. It was perfectly tailored for the market when it first came on to the market, and that made it highly successful. It simply failed to change along with the market, which turned its early success into failure. If Chrysler had made adjustments to the car over time, it would likely remain a popular choice to this day.
The Tech Industry
The tech industry thrives on change. The smartphone is a perfect example, since many of the companies that produce them make a point of releasing a new, updated model every year or two in order to take advantage of the latest innovations. That gives them a constant stream of revenue, which helps to fund further advancements.
The history of the smartphone also shows the power of innovation. The earliest model was Simon, from IBM in 1992. It could not run complex programs, but it did offer address books, mail systems, a variety of other basic features that are common to most modern phones. It was too expensive to be popular, but it provided a solid foundation for future developments.
Later systems combined phones with PDA devices, eventually culminating in the first iPhone. That device made Apple into a tech powerhouse and popularized smartphones. Apple changed its designs as technology improved, which meant that they always controlled a large part of the market. The company has repeated that process many times, and their constant updates provided them with plenty of revenue.
The Retail Industry
The recent history of the retail industry shows that businesses need to update their methods along with their products. Digital shopping has changed from an expensive oddity to one of the most common ways of purchasing goods in just the past few decades.
In the past, people shopped at whichever stores were near their home, or occasionally ordered products through the mail. That was a slow process, which encouraged people to shop from local stores. In the modern world, anyone can order a product from almost any of the digital retailers, which provides a huge advantage for the ones that can build a strong reputation.
That effect is so significant that Amazon controls almost half of all sales over the internet in the United States. That makes for an incredibly strong business, one which reached success by predicting that people would buy goods over the Internet in the future and being one of the first companies to start offering that service.