You need to obsess about your competitive landscape, about new technologies impacting your business, about the stability of your banking relationships, and a host of other issues.
Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world and the founder of Amazon, recently predicted to a group of employees that “Amazon will go bankrupt.” He was reflecting on the recent bankruptcy of Sears, which not that long ago was as formidable as Amazon is today. “If you look at large companies,” he said, “their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.”
I know what you’re thinking: That doesn’t seem right. Large companies have enduring strength. Massive corporations such as those in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are cornerstones of our economy. We don’t think of them in terms of life expectancy; instead, we imagine them as permanent. After all, companies like American Cotton Oil, Distilling & Cattle Feeding, National Lead, and Tennessee Coal and Iron will live forever!
All those firms — long gone — were members of the original 1896 DJIA. In fact, of the 1988 DJIA — only 30 years ago — 18 of 30 companies have been dropped. All 18 either play a much-reduced role in our economy (e.g., Kodak) or are gone altogether (e.g., Bethlehem Steel).
Maybe there is something to Bezos’ 30-year prediction about large companies.
The expected lifespans of small companies are even more problematic. Statistics vary, but my experience is that if a small business survives its first five years (and only about half do), it’s likely to continue for another fifteen or so.
In other words, a single generation.
A generation of mere survival—not prosperity—is a gloomy prospect indeed. I’ve worked at a company that was barely surviving, far from thriving, and I can’t recommend it. It’s frustrating, stressful, and … well … just no fun. Avoid it like the plague.
Continue at: https://www.industryweek.com/leadership/lifes-too-short-run-your-company-ground?NL=IW-07&Issue=IW-07_20190102_IW-07_155&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_6&utm_rid=CPG03000014112171&utm_campaign=31893&utm_medium=email&elq2=9a1a1f0c183241b2bc5d5e2efd691520
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