Polaroid, Blockbuster, and Kodak have a few things in common:
- They are all bankrupt.
- They were all early innovators.
- They did not change with time and tune their business model.
Companies and management get lazy and don’t see the future because they have a cash cow present. They don’t want to innovate or disrupt it. As a result, they die when a new innovator comes.
A recent example is cloud computing: amazon kept building infrastructure, and folks from HP/DELL kept disregarding it because they were making money from the hardware. They were not interested in killing the cash cow.
As time progressed, the cloud became defacto, and even Microsoft and Google jumped on the bandwagon. Who needs hardware when they can spin servers for a few dollars on the cloud?
A founder not to get settled on a product line but to keep innovating and expanding, sensing the mood. It takes less time to get disrupted by a new innovator.