Emerging trends in technological advancements are changing the way we do business today and while successful businesses see these trends as opportunities and find ways to capitalize on them to evolve and grow, unsuccessful ones see these changes as a threat to their very survival. Emerging trends whether in technology or anything else for that matter can actually serve as enablers that drive business innovation.
If a business allows emerging trends to serve as an enabler for its growth, the business goes beyond its limitations to reinvent itself and become a truly successful company. Consider the example of Ligand Stores in the U.S. In the early 90s, Ligand was in the business of helping small businesses manage their office space by keeping their files in a designated portion of its warehouse. Ligand’s office was conveniently located in the central city where most businesses were set up and they could have easy access to their files.
With the introduction of the computer and hard disk, a lot of Ligand’s clients wanted to opt out of their contracts since they could all leverage on the power of the computer. Ligand’s CEO was smart.
He got a few people who were very familiar with the new technology to transfer most Ligand’s client files onto a hard disk. At the time, a lot of businesses were still trying to adjust to the new technology and so before the clients terminated their contracts, Ligand proposed to sell them a hard disk containing all their physical files at a premium which they all bought.
Ligand later sold half of its warehouse to a food company and used the funds, the new space and the pile of waste paper to start a paper recycling company making paper bags.
The introduction of new technology should have crushed Ligand’s business but instead, the new technology drove them into business – another kind of business. Smart businesses find ways to adapt to technological and other trends instead of having to shirk and die.