Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

What company will replace Walmart?

That’s the question in the post #page 462 – What will the company that replaces Walmart (and Amazon) look like?

Remember the dominant players Kodak, Pan Am, TWA, Sears, Montgomery Wards, and IBM (the PC manufacturer)?

All but Sears are gone. And they are a subsidiary of K-mart.

IBM (the PC manufacturer) has disappeared from the market and been replaced by IBM (the IT consulting outfit).

The iconic name brands disappear as new, more nimble companies come along.

So we wonder who will replace the current dominant players like Walmart and Amazon.

That is what John Bredehoft is pondering in the above post.

Once a company becomes dominant, other players can try to improve on their operations. If they succeed, they will take over the market.

Best Buy is fading. Circuit City is gone. Borders is gone (a bookstore in case anyone forgot).  Who would have thought that?

Up next might be QuickBooks. They are the dominant player in the market for small business bookkeeping software. If they can stay nimble, they will survive, but their nimbleness isn’t too obvious at the moment. Their desktop software is getting bloated and visibly slower to load.  Maybe I’m just not very observant, but I’ve not noticed any new features in the last several annual releases that made an upgrade worthwhile. The online software is struggling to add features. Something like Xero or some other startup might replace them one day.

Mr. Bredehoft casts some speculation about what a future competitor to Walmart and even Amazon might look like.

Before you dismiss the picture as too far out there, ponder what we would have thought about the Amazon business model 25 years ago.

Oh, and watch out for the fine print on page 462.

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2 thoughts on “What company will replace Walmart?

  1. IBM is an interesting case, since it is one of the few companies that has successfully reinvented itself – in IBM’s case, several times over. Most companies are unable to reinvent themselves, and run their original business models into the ground.

    You named a number of dominant players, but one that you didn’t mention was General Motors. Even with the emergence of Japanese auto manufacturers in the 1970s, I don’t believe that people were predicting that General Motors would file for bankruptcy one day. (Chrysler was another matter.)

    Perhaps I’m in error, but it seems that the shelf life of companies is getting shorter and shorter. The lifespan of Kroger can be measured in decades, but the lifespan of Blackberry (formerly Research in Motion) appears to be measured in years.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      One of the concepts behind why I’m writing this blog is we are seeing accelerating rate of change. Not just more of the same change, but change at an increasing rate. If you and I are dizzy now, just wait another year. If we don’t try to get ahead, or at least keep up, we will get left behind.

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