Sign of the Times

We were at WalMart yesterday, and back near electronics they had a large rack of videotapes. Above them was a sign that said, "Last chance to buy VHS." Talk about a short product life-cycle! Not much more than 25 years from cutting edge (well Beta was cutting edge, but you take the point) to completely obsolete. In Tom Peter's brilliant Reimagine, he makes the point that of the Fortune 500 companies 50 years ago, fewer than 50 are still in business today (at least in their original form). If nine out of ten of the largest companies in America can basically disappear in half a century, it ought to make us reconsider our notions of stability and longevity. The times they are a-changing...and those who do not change with them (or preferrably before them) are going to be left behind on the beach.


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