The Shifts We Will Barely Feel

My son is working away on a browser-based game on our new Dell XPS18 computer. But by “computer,” I mean it’s a very portable computer that feels a lot more like a big-ass tablet with a stand and a keyboard. XPS18

To be honest, I had to actually go online to look it up, whether it was technically a big tablet or a really thin computer. And honestly, this isn’t a post about a kind of computer. It’s a post about how you and I will do shifting and new things without really even noticing that.

Shifts Happen

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Neither of my kids care about owning their music. iTunes isn’t interesting to them. They don’t even care about Spotify (my choice). They just check for songs on YouTube. In my lifetime, I’ve seen LPs cede to cassettes, to CDs, MP3s, and then to puffs of nothing in the cloud (to LPs again, if you’re a hipster).

People grumble “paper books, grr grr, forever” and sales of digital books are through the roof. We used to talk about phone coverage maps and minutes per month, and now the only conversation is apps and maybe Android vs iOS. Should you be on social media? Is blogging dead? Is the future already behind us?

It’s Not Exactly “Unpredictable” But It’s Tricky

The way to best understand what will work and what won’t is by understanding what facilitates easier/better/faster/something-else-er changes. First, hotels were a bit thrashed by online price discount sites. Now, they feel the sting of AirBNB as a viable alternative to staying in a hotel. Car rental companies couldn’t predict ZipCar being something more than a novelty for nerds. Crowdsourcing seemed like a great way to promote idea sharing, but it wasn’t a real business, oh, and then it was (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc). My co-author of two of my books, Julien Smith launched Breather, which will no doubt disrupt spaces. I’m fascinated by how Square has disrupted point-of-sale cash register business, credit card merchant business, and more.

People Won’t Ever Do That

The enemy of understanding change and shifts is the mindset that says “no one will give up owning their music.” It’s the mindset that says, “Stay at someone’s house? Too creepy. Hotels only.” The moment you shift your thoughts into “people won’t” territory, you’ll miss what can happen, what might happen, and what will happen. People won’t want dinners that take 3 minutes to heat up. People won’t want food handed to them through windows. People won’t want to read blogs from unknowns when they can follow the mainstream. People won’t type 140 character messages.

And so on.

It’s time to get your shifts together. What will you do differently as an owner? What shift will you bring about? Or what shift will you ride alongside? How will any changes impact your business?

See why this is all useful to think about?

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