The Mistake that Topples Careers and Industries

During the second half of the 19th Century, rail transportation in the United States was a booming enterprise. Expanding to every corner of the land, this lucrative growth industry seemed unstoppable. Yet within 70 years of its heyday, rail companies tumbled. And today, their impact of is negligible (beyond Amtrak and lines of Thomas the Tank Engine toys).  What on Earth happened?

Well, the world changed. The advent of automobiles, trucks, buses, and airplanes simply made trains less necessary. Less relevant. So they faded away.

But what if these companies had maintained a broader vision? What if they hadn’t been here simply to support railway systems, but rather to solve transportation needs of all sorts? Had that been the case, these businesses might still be major players in air, land, and sea travel today.

The mistake of overspecialization has plagued virtually every industry, large or small. We’ve seen this sad tale play out time and time again.

In the arts, for example, consider record labels. So massive was their influence and power just 15 short years ago that the top handful of multi-billion dollar corporations were oft referred to as the “music industry.” But make no mistake. That’s not how they approached the game. Instead, they were the “sound-reproduced-on-physical-products-industry.” Which explains why the move from records to CDs worked so seamlessly. Yet when digital reproduction and distribution became reality, the consequences were devastating. Imagine how differently history might have been written had these companies truly seen themselves as the backbone of a comprehensive and ever evolving music business.

Or how about orchestras? These organizations boast a rich and glorious tradition. But even so, American orchestras today are declaring bankruptcy at an alarming rate. What business are they in? Serving as a cultural and creative hub? Transforming communities through music? Celebrating the unique artistic identity of a region?  Not even close. Instead it’s much more narrowly defined: “Large ensemble music featuring a combination of strings, winds, and percussion performing primarily Western classical music by dead Europeans.” Hmmm…During this tumultuous time of disruptive change, couldn’t these ensembles rescue themselves from extinction by thinking wider and re-imagining core purpose? 

What about your own career? Do you just do that one very specific thing (i.e. play classical oboe, choreograph ballet, paint landscape murals)?  Or is your mission open and flexible, ensuring that your work will remain necessary, valuable, and valued no matter how much the world evolves in any direction?

True, you can’t be all things to all people. True, there are tremendous benefits to addressing a particular niche. Just be sure that the positioning you choose is broad enough to ensure there will always be demand for your art.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • Mixx
  • Blogplay
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz

138 Responses to “The Mistake that Topples Careers and Industries”

  1. 21 June 2008Ah…It’s as if the PD has committed violence, but I don’t remember seeing any, other than that wedge-barge-through yesterday when they broke the police lines to Government House.In fact, it’s the PPP and Thaksin supporters who HAVE committed violence. What of this PPP MP Karoon who kicked Khun Somkiet of PAD in the Parliament cafeteria, then said if he was found to have really done that he’d quit, and then cops out when a penel found he did do it by saying he had not been tried in court, etc.?Secondly, before that Dr. Kraisak Choonhavan, who was formerly Chairman of Thailand’s Senate Foreign Relations committee, was severaly kicked by an irate pro-Thaksin supporter as he was innocently standing out near a demonstration. Given Thaksin’s violence-prone record and that of his supporters, I for the life of me can’t understand how anyone could possible cite the PAD as violent. Oh, well…

  2. Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and detailed information you offer. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  3. Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed!

    Very helpful info specially the last part :) I maintain such information much.

    I was looking for this certain info for a long
    time.Thank you and good luck.

    My blog post – buy ammunition online

  4. The blog is useful for musicians.

  5. Ahmad says:

    If you desire to take a good deal from this article then you have
    to apply these methods to your won web site.

    Stop by my webpage; social networking community (Ahmad)

  6. we are prepared to negotiate with the Satan in the pits of hell.intimidating opponents with feathery turnaround jumpers and a menacing scowl.All of Sunday’s inductees delivered that message, So the executive director of the IPID will assess itand make a decision on whether it must be investigated by the IPID, No mud thrown at me will stick, to find out that they will not get their hands on the finished version of Windows 8. Microsoft has had little impact in the fast-growing segments of tablets and smartphones. lie or enhance their experiences in pursuit of their filthy lucre and 15-minutes of fame.That’s not reporting the news.

  7. Nike Tiempo says:

    As new affluence takes hold in old structures “people do whatever they want on their buildings” — often flouting cumbersome regulations, Chris Barnewall (@ChrisJandB) Way up on the list,5321777.627.”Adnan Abu Amer, he said. with Facebook dominating but with many people using multiple platforms,LinkedIn is used by 22% of online American adults and is especially popular among college graduates and those in higher income households.I’m a South African

  8. I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your content.
    Your article has truly peaked my interest.

    I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for
    new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  9. I do consider all of the ideas you’ve presented
    to your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for starters.

    May you please extend them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

    Check out my blog – kitesurf boards (http://www.youtube.com)

  10. Jannette says:

    A wall plug charger is usually the most common type
    of charger included in starter sets. When people see smoke from my electronic cigarette,
    I see them flinch away and then they ask what is that wonderful smell.
    V2 Cigs, Ever – Smoke Cigarette, Smoke – Stik Electronic Cigarette
    and many other brands are famous in this regard.

  11. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up
    anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this website,
    as I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous
    to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if
    your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but
    slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your
    high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  12. Krystyna says:

    Link exchange is nothing else however it is simply placing the other person’s website link on your page at proper place and
    other person will also do same in favor of you.

  13. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wanting to know your situation; we have developed some
    nice practices and we are looking to swap strategies with others, please shoot me an e-mail
    if interested.

  14. Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content together.
    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and
    commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  15. If you are going for finest contents like me, only go to see this web page everyday since it offers quality
    contents, thanks

    my homepage קידום אתרים לימוד עצמי

  16. Hey there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the outstanding work!

  17. It is very informative..Thank you for this blog.

  18. Suzette says:

    I used to be able too find good information from yohr articles.

  19. What’s up to all, the contents present at this site are in fact amazing for people
    knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  20. I hope this blog is very useful to all.

  21. youtube.com says:

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting
    a little research on this. And he in fact bought me
    dinner because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this topic here
    on your web page.

    My blog post: Shadow Fight Hack (youtube.com)

  22. For industry related moving service pls hire our service.

  23. Images here are good. Looking attractive. for nice and clarity pictures hire our service.

  24. These negotiations should be led by a seasoned lawyer to make sure that the settlement
    reached upon is the most ideal situation for the victim,
    as far as the client is concerned. Anyone who has suffered a serious personal harm
    that has led to significant physical or emotional damage,
    or both, knows that it is a difficult experience.
    After treatment, you lie in the hospital bed not knowing when you’ll be able to go home.

    Look at my webpage – top rated attorney las vegas

  25. What’s up, of course this piece of writing is actually good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging.
    thanks.

    Here is my website … מנעולן קורס פתח תקוה

  26. Very shortly this web page will be famous among all blog
    users, due to it’s good posts

    Here is my web-site: Massachusetts how to pick a drug rehab center

  27. What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads.
    I am hoping to contribute & help different customers like its helped
    me. Great job.

    Here is my blog; alcoholism rehabilitation program

  28. Ridiculous quest there. What happened after? Take care!

    Look at my blog; Burlingtondrugrehab

  29. This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally
    I’ve found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!

    my webpage: average cost of drug rehab

  30. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed
    reading it, you could be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog
    and may come back at some point. I want to encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice morning!

    Have a look at my weblog קידום אתרים לימוד עצמי

  31. What i do not realize is actually how you’re now not actually a lot more
    neatly-appreciated than you may be now. You’re very intelligent.
    You realize thus significantly in terms of this matter, made me individually believe it from so many varied angles.
    Its like men and women are not fascinated unless it’s
    something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your
    personal stuffs great. At all times take care of it up!

    my web-site – Michigan is rehab free

  32. Kiyoko Lukin says:

    Enjoyed your site. Appreciatve for the info on here. Anticipating for what’s next!

  33. If you’re looking for the best tools and reviews for making the most
    guap on the internet peep http://www.internetguap.com. You’ll be making bank on the internet much more efficiently and quicker with all the info and tools we provide.

  34. I visit daily a few web pages and sites to read posts, however
    this weblog presents quality based articles.

    my blog ΝΤΕΤΕΚΤΙΒ Δακτυλικά αποτυπώματα

Leave a Reply

Powered by Wordpress | Designed by I Design Blogs