One of the things I do, is that I provide mentorship and advise for small business owners.
Recently, the heir of a small business owner came to me asking for direction on setting up their e-commerce initiative. A channel background comes in handy in these cases. Us, the people of the channel, we are constantly confronted with conflict scenarios and we can smell one from miles away.
After giving her my obvious $.02 on what to look for, I asked her if she knew what to answer when her father points out that they are probably already selling to many of the customers that she will be targeting.
Her response was: “Where do you know Dad from?”.
I knew this, because this is the question of incumbency, of legacy. Every leader in a proven success tracks asks this question. Not because I knew her dad. When leaning into the future, when contemplating “the next thing”, we tend to ask is “how is this going to harm our current standing?”, a useful and sometimes more important question to ask is “what if we do nothing?”, or a version of that same question, “what if our competitor does it first?”. This is the question that Blockbuster and Kodak should have asked themselves.