We’ve heard of a company being too big to fail. What about being too big to succeed? It happens every day – an entrepreneur working for love and no money creates a product or service that is then purchased by a huge corporation. It happened last week when Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. Why couldn’t Facebook – or Polaroid, for that matter — create Instagram?
An article in the New York Times on Monday explored this issue.Nick Bilton writes: “In a 2008 talk at the Yale School of Management, Gary T. DiCamillo, a former chief executive at Polaroid, said one of the reasons the company went out of business was that the revenue it was reaping from film sales acted like a blockade to any experimentation with new business models.
Reason being – instant film drove the economics of the company and if something as virtual as Instagram had been proposed, Bilton surmises, in all likelihood, it would never gotten past Phase I.
“The challenge of creating something small and disruptive inside a large company is one that many face today,” Bilton writes.
Disruptions. They are the entrepreneur’s strength. The two guys who started Instagram and ran it with 13 employees were able to build Instagram because they had nothing to lose. Can you imagine bringing an idea like this to a corporate executive – a business plan with no prospect of revenue?
And yet, some corporations have been able to make the shift and survive. The New York Times article sites Netflix as trying to change the fan and getting a few fingers cut off in the process as it went from $16 billion to $4 billion, weaning customers off DVDs and onto streaming video. But it did survive.
And in an unusual turnabout, Nike changed the way it looked at itself and rocketed to even greater heights. In 1992, CEO Phil Knight said, “For years we thought of ourselves as a production oriented company, meaning we put all our emphasis on designing and manufacturing the product. But now we understand that most important thing we do is market the product. We’ve come around to saying Nike is a marketing-oriented company, and the product is our most important marketing tool.”
The other day at a WIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association) meeting, I heard Pauline Parry, owner of Good Gracious! Events and immediate past president of WIPA, say, “WIPA is an education-driven organization.” To me, that puts the priorities right. Of course members are important, but when we create quality education that matters and puts the needs of members first, success can only follow.It’s about a simple shift in perception. Time and time again, the disruptors – those people and companies that think differently, that create an emotional connection and become part of peoples’ lives are the ones that remain successful and relevant.
5 Things Instagram Got Right That Others Could Not by Appboy.com
1. True Social Integration
2. Pictures on Foursquare
3. Utter Simplicity
4. Simply Photo Sharing