Don't Let Your Product Become Obsolete

How to ensure continued growth in demand for your products or services? Avoid falling victim to common myths that can cause you to become complacent. Here's one especially dangerous myth: "There's no competitive substitute for my industry's major product."

Believing that your products have no rivals makes your company vulnerable to dramatic innovations from outside your industry. Often, these innovations are developed by smaller, newer companies that are focusing on identifying and satisfying customer needs rather than developing products (and then hoping they'll find a permanent market). For example, railroads stopped growing when other innovations (cars, airplanes) satisfied consumers' transportation needs better--and won the railroads' customers.

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  October 10, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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