What Are You Ready For? What Are You Waiting For?
I’m all Apple all the time. Since 1984.
So far, Apple and Steve Jobs have changed the way computers run, revolutionized the mobile phone, and revolutionized the way music is distributed to a point that all retailers, distributors, manufacturers, producers, music groups, and recording artists are totally dependent on Apple for a sizeable share of their revenue.
The iPod, and all versions of their music players, phones, laptops, and anything that plays music uses iTunes as a playing medium AND a purchasing medium. WOW.
Oh, there are still DVDs and other forms of distribution, but Apple rules. And Apple makes the rules. They have completely changed the game and the process. The world, accepted it, bought it by the billions, and LOVES it.
Their iPod competition has utterly failed. Got Zune? Not only was it a billion dollar failure, it was a joke. The iPhone started another revolution. And that’s a story for another day.
Today is iPad day. Or should I say “book replacement” day. The iPad is so revolutionary that no one even saw it coming. They didn’t know what to do with it — or could have predicted the changes it would inspire.
Capitalizing on the growing demand for e-books, the exploding app market, e-reader popularity, and the global appetite for cool products,Apple went to market having no idea what an explosion of creativity they were unleashing.
Remember this ditty? No more homework, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!
Well, some of it is about to come true. The homework will still be there, the teachers will still be there, their dirty looks will (unfortunately) still be there, but the books are fading fast.
Remember your first day of school every year? “Issuing books” was a major part of the day. Signing for them, writing your name and grade in them, putting them in your book bag, and then dragging them back and forth to class, to home, and back to school all year. (Not to mention losing them and dropping them in a puddle of water.)
Well, those days aren’t completely over yet, but the iPad is beginning to idle printing presses globally. And soon, like the Yellow Pages, newspapers, and magazines, the majority of printed media will only be available online as a download or from some ASP.
REALITY: Everyone on the planet is looking for ways to improve education. The iPad will lead the revolution. It will provide 21st century learning and make it FUN (and might even eliminate some of the teacher’s dirty looks).
What kid wants eight textbooks when they could have an iPad? NOBODY ON THE PLANET. Less money, no hassle, completely searchable, underline-able, note-take-able, and FUN.
Our three-year old daughter Gabrielle dominates one of our iPads. She reads, plays, watches, listens, chooses, and swipes to her heart’s content. And any time I tell her, “That’s not on this iPad,” she instantly says, “Download it, Papa.”
So far, this is a nice story. Many of you already know it, and are reading this on some Apple device. That’s great for Apple. They deserve it.
BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU? What major change or shift is about to come into your world? Your business? Your life? And are you ready for it?
What’s about to change about the way you sell? Serve? Communicate? Respond? Take products to market? Develop new products? Do business? Get customers? Keep customers? Manufacture? Deliver? Account for? Get paid for? Make profit?
Or are you too busy focused on yesterday, today, competition, pricing, bidding, eking out a profit?
THINK ABOUT THIS: What’s going to happen to car salespeople when all the auto manufacturers put the “buy now” button on their websites? They will go the same way that mediocre stockbrokers went when online trading was introduced. Gone.
Amazon killed Borders. And Amazon is killing a lot of other businesses — businesses which were NOT READY for the changes that are swooping down on the sales, promotion, social media, advertising, and business world at G-4 speed.
The businesses that have lost it were and are the businesses that were and are not ready to compete. And most of them, like newspapers and other print publications, took too long to recognize and change their strategies. Google ads and ad words swooped in and cleaned their clock, their customers, and their cash reserves.
Not many are ready for the evolution.
I talked about the Apple story because they saw what was next and led the way. They innovated, took risks, made it easy to do business, and created products that consumers wanted.
And on a smaller scale, in your market, to your customers, you must do the same.
Are you looking at EVERY element of how you’re doing business? Can you see what’s new and what’s next? Are you willing to take the step forward? Or will you try to hang on to what has worked for the past twenty years, and not see let alone seize the opportunity.