Jack Uldrich
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The Strange Case of the Disappearing "B's"

Posted in Business, Business Model, Change, Disruptive Technology

Blockbusters, Borders, Brittanica, and Best Buy. They all begin with the letter “B” and they are all disappearing. Surprisingly, the underlying cause of each is the same: Digitization.

In the case of Blockbuster, Netflix has been digitizing movies and films for some time now thus rendering video rental stores obsolete.

Amazon and its Kindle e-book reader are doing the same to books as ever more readers digitally digest books. The consequence: Borders has been forced into bankruptcy.

Last month, after 244 years, Encyclopedia Brittanica, announced it was discontinuing publication of its paper-based encyclopedias. The company realized it no longer made sense to print massive 20-volumes tomes in the era where consumers could quickly look up–and post–digital content online at sites such as Wikipedia.com.

And few weeks ago, Best Buy announced it was closing 50 stores. The reason: More consumers are shopping and ordering products online.

The trend will continue working its way up the alphabet:

Cisco is being threatened by Nicera
Daimler is being targeted by the likes of Zipcar and RelayRide …
Education is being disrupted by Khan Academy and Udacity …

Your world is disappearing … don’t get an “F” in change management!


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