In 2007, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughed at the iPhone
“Five hundred dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan?” he exclaimed in a 2007 interview, shortly after it was released. “That is the most expensive phone in the world, and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine.”
That was September 2007. Today, not quite five years later, the iPhone portion of Apple’s business alone is bigger than all of Microsoft.
Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975 but dropped it for fear it would threaten its film business. If they hadn’t have done so, they could have dominated the industry and still have a thriving business. Kodak once said, “We don’t sell film, we sell memories.” The company who made “the Kodak Moment” part of American culture forgot who they were.
In my last article, Act Like a Salesperson and Sell Something Already, I quoted legendary consultant and author Peter Ducker:
Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.
Let’s talk about each of those.
Once you decided to freelance or start a web business, you gained a new job description: Business Owner. So what’s the purpose of this enterprise you’ve undertaken? Most people think it’s “to make money”—but that’s not a purpose, it’s a result. According to the renowned Peter Drucker, the purpose of business is “to create a customer.”
Despite the fact that more people are buying ebooks online than their print counterparts, James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, one of the U.K’s leading book chains, maintains that “the computer screen is a terrible environment in which to select books.” He says “a physical bookshop in which you browse, see, hold, touch and feel books is the environment you want.”
As business people and marketers, we can’t afford to ignore technological advances or neglect to innovate. Yet, those most threatened by disruptive technologies seem quickest to disparage it. Waterstones’ director is in good company—notables such as Charlie Chaplin and Darryl Zanuck made similar statements. Here’s an infographic of some Very Bad Future Predictions:
Whew! This SitePoint post of mine certainly generated a lot of controversy, comments, and tweets.
I read a great definition of capitalism recently:
A system in which there are winners and losers, in which someone with a brilliant idea gets rich, while most of us get by.
I think of Apple CEO Steve Jobs when I read that. He had several brilliant ideas (like the Macintosh, the iPod and Pixar, to name a few). He’s rich while I’m getting by.
Then there’s Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. I should have been Mark Zuckerberg. I was a web designer and my partner was a web developer. We could have created Facebook… we had the technology. But Mark Zuckerberg had the brilliant idea. He’s rich while I’m getting by.
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.