Creative destruction is the mental model that markets often churn through companies, with new ideas and processes replacing the old ones. Some companies are able to keep up with these changes, and some cannot.
According to Andrew McVagh, the power of creative destruction is to know that it’s coming and not be scared of it. In his words:
Creative Destruction reminds us that things will change over time and that all we can really do is adapt. However, with change comes opportunity and so the death of one industry means if we hustle we have a chance to be even more successful in whatever industry replaces it.
We’ve seen this many times in recent years, as Facebook replaced MySpace, digital photography killed Kodak, and high-speed internet destroyed AOL. Seth Godin discussed this on his blog today, sharing how being willing to try to new things is a great way to stay in business longer.
In some of these cases, there wasn’t much a company could do. If your entire business was based on developing print photos, the last 15 years certainly have been brutal. In the case of Kodak, though, they actually invented the digital camera and then buried it to keep their core business alive. If they had instead invested more in the future, things could be much different today.
Change is coming
No matter what industry you’re in, change is coming. The automotive world will change greatly in the next 20 years with electric and self-driving vehicles, and the delivery of goods will continue to get cheaper and faster as drones become more sophisticated. In our industry, design and development will continue to get easier with new tools, and the world of social media and digital marketing will likely only see greater acceleration in change.
Don’t worry about IF change is coming; it is, so just do what you can to prepare for it.