GITOMER: How are your times changing?
Friday, August 24, 2012 7:00 AM
It’s no surprise that the late Steve Jobs’ favorite music was written and performed by Bob Dylan and The Beatles. I just finished reading his biography, and it was as compelling a book as “Atlas Shrugged.”
Anyway, about three months ago I started a column about the 1964 Bob Dylan song, “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” an anthem for those times and these times. But for one reason or another, I set the column aside.
As I was reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs (a book I could NOT put down), I got goosebumps when Jobs got fired from Apple Inc, after a decade of it being his creation and child. Devastated, he went home and played the second verse of “The Times They Are a-Changin’” over and over:
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
I just sat there stunned. The song, one of Jobs’ favorites, actually predicted his return, and arguably one of the greatest business comebacks of all time. And the timing of my column. Further proof (as if you needed it) that there are no coincidences.
The picture I want to present to you is the BIG PICTURE of change. Not your sales plan, or your quota, or your boss, or your compensation plan. What I’m offering are life changes that go way beyond sales and the race for dollars.
It’s about how technology and your ability to see what is now will affect what is next. Jobs was able to see it and do it because it was his life’s work. But you must intensify your focus (the same way I’m intensifying mine) to see what is next for your industry, your market and your customers so there will be a positive impact for your company, your family and yourself.
The Internet, the smartphone, the tablet and soon Internet TV will become a vital part of our society and world commerce, aka sales. Advances over the next decade will dwarf what is available now, and will change markets forever.
The same way trading of shares of stock and insurance policies were turned upside down with the Internet, the same way the iPod changed the way music is played, distributed, and sold, so will your market evolve. And it will go to the most prepared to understand, create, capitalize and master the evolution and the quality of products.
A FEW EXAMPLES OF WHAT WAS AND WHAT’S NEXT:
• The hardbound book is being taken over by the e-book.
• The smartphone is smarter than you are – and Siri talks to you. BlackBerry owned the market, then sat on it and lost it. Apple has 500,000 Web applications. BlackBerry has about 10 percent of that number. “Angry Birds” is finally among them.
• The television is flat and cheap. It will soon become your home Internet connection. Someone will own that market. I’m betting Apple. You?
• Got fax machine? Make me laugh! Or should I say, “LOL,” or should I say, “PDF.”
And with all of that, technology life cycles are shorter. How have you taken advantage of this? And for those of you saying, “I know that,” ask yourself, “How good am I at that?” and “What am I doing to master that?”
FACT: The times are changing.
UNKNOWN FACT: How are your times changing?
The Depot at 4th, 100 4th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 | (515) 288-3336 | © 2012 Business Record. All Rights Reserved. | Legal disclaimer