Unfortunately for the species, the dodo remains synonymous for concepts or objects which have become obsolete due to failure to evolve.
When I graduated in 1997, the following industries were kings of the the roost. They are now dead or are shadows of their former selves – all in just 15 years.
Record Stores – remember shops like Odyssey and Music One?
Newspapers – My dad used to get 3 newspapers for the house daily. And that Sunday Manila Bulletin edition was thicker than the Bible. Now? My dad goes online for his news. Manila Bulletin is now as thick as a comic book.
Video and Game Rentals – ACA Video anyone?
Landlines – I’m not really sure why we got a landline for our house. I think it was because of the bundled package with the internet. It NEVER rings anymore.
Point and Shoot Cameras (not SLR’s) – the lining was on the wall when the smartphone camera specs started getting better and better. Then the iPhone 4-S came out and was essentially the straw which broke the camel’s back.
Photo Developing Shops – These shops seemed to be in every other commercial block at one point. Now you hardly see one.
Encyclopedias – Remember Collier’s, World Book, and Britannica?
These are some of the industries which I think would be in quick decline from hereon:
The PC – Have you seen how cheap laptops now are? It’s also worth noting that the Macs, while still selling well, are now Apple’s lowest-selling machines next to phones and tablets.
Book Publishing – Did you know you can now self-publish in Amazon? (and according to a lot of authors, make MORE money)
Brick and Mortar Bookstores – I used to think, “There would always be a need for a book! It’s a different feeling to turn actual pages.” Then I got an iPad and was introduced to ebooks and Amazon online. From buying a book almost every month just 2 years ago, I haven’t bought a physical book ever since.
(What do you think is on the verge? Hit the comments!)
It’s not surprising that we see industries come and go. What is staggering to observe is the rate of human adoption – and therefore, disruption. How much time did it take for books to gain prominence? Hundreds of years. What about newspapers? Landlines? Record shops? Cameras? The PC? Decades.
What does this mean?
No one’s job is safe.
Nowadays, it’s dangerous to become a one-trick pony. (Hello, cobol programmers) You have to be a lifelong learner.
Nowadays, you have to become an expert in becoming an expert. You have to do it fast, too.
Nowadays, you have to deal with the ambiguity that comes when technology disrupts markets every other week.
Flexibility, learning fast, and managing ambiguity?
Sounds awfully like what an entrepreneur does.
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