Chapter 34From the Walkman to the iPod

Often, companies make pivot-type changes in response to changes in their industry. The most successful pivots seem almost ahead of the times, changing according to things seen coming, sensing where people's needs are moving, setting trends, and making leaps. What sets these companies apart? Is it access to more information, or maybe their willingness to take the information around them into account, rather than sticking with what has always worked? Maybe it's vision, access to research tools, or a certain unique experience or story by a founder who just believed the idea was going to work.

In the next few chapters, we're going to look at some industries that have changed and why some companies have been able to navigate these changes successfully while others were left behind. The companies unable or unwilling to make these changes find themselves outdated and unnecessary, to the same market that once kept them busy.

Most competition can be avoided by keeping your customers happy. But what about when no matter how great your product or service has been, the market simply shifts away from needing you? Because even if your Walkman was in perfect shape out of the box, you would still be buying an iPod. That's industry shift guiding product success.

When we looked at pulse earlier, we saw how external factors are always pushing on the pulse line to affect experience. When these are fairly small or constant, they lead to equally small or constant ...

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