The Bend In The Road

Look up ahead on the road. See what is there? The road bends. The future has decided to head in a different direction. Are you ready? Will you make the turn or go off the road? A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.

The road to the future does not always travel in a straight line. There are times when the road leaves a direct path. One stimulus might cause a bump, another a turn. Be aware and know that these changes bring other opportunities.

“Ah,” you say, “I am moving at full speed! I’ll ride the turn out!” No, you will not. If you are not able to make the turn, you will run off the road. You will be out in a field somewhere, praying the road comes back. “Silly!” you say? Look again.

Although several companies had introduced computers for the home and personal use, in 1981 IBM introduced the IBM 5150. Like other machines at the time, it used an open architecture. Based on the Intel 8088, it was one of the first to finally get into the business environment and be taken seriously. Over the next few years, the standard was IBM and clone makers strove to be compatible. Then in the late 80’s, IBM introduced MCA and changed the royalty structure. Suddenly, making a clone was no longer profitable. IBM was expecting to grab more control of the market, but the road turned. Clone makers discovered how to have VGA compatible without MCA. They also pushed the limits of ISA, created VLB and eventually PCI. And IBM? Sure, they are still around, but they have long closed their PC business.

The road to the future is littered with the remains of many businesses that failed to make the turn. KMart. Circuit City. Biggs. Never assume all is known and travel my proceed without care. Ever be vigilant. Ever understand your customer, the market and the road. When it turns, be ready to turn with it.