I love this article in Sunday's NY Times Week in Review section, "How Industries Survive Change. If They Do."
In it, we get a list of characteristics needed to survive the kind of turmoil the global economy seems to be facing.
There’s no clear route to cheating industrial death. Those companies that have survived technological challenges have in common some combination of perseverance, creativity, versatility and luck. Their precise strategies vary. Some made sweeping changes, and abandoned their original products entirely; others were able to endure by changing little but their marketing.
Do you have perseverance? Are you creative? Are you versatile? How's your luck? Three out of 4 of those items are within your control.
The article goes on to give example after example of companies and industries that adapted to a changing environment. Did you know that Toyota used to make textile looms and Nokia started as a paper mill in Finland? "These companies survived by keeping their ears to the ground. New customer needs emerged, and smart corporations positioned themselves to meet them."
Are you listening for emerging customer needs? If so, what do you hear? We're working on an article about how creative solopreneurs are doing adapting to the market. If you are, post your comment here and we may contact you for an interview.