We are facing a new industrial revolution, and the last ten years are proof enough that changes are here to stay, and those changes are evolving. These days, tech companies rule the business and economic world; they are the youngest in the corporate ladder. Oldest companies are adapting to new rules and methods; some succeed while others fail. It’s a universal law, the one who adapts survives. The oldest companies need to embrace the digital world in order to keep their brand. 

Please keep reading to learn about the companies that failed to adapt and the reasons behind it!

Why companies that failed to adapt end up closing

There are many reasons why companies that failed to adapt to the digital world end up closing.

In the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, digitalization is the main goal, and some companies fail to implement the correct processes. This happens because of several factors, like the ones stated below:

– Too much optimism: many companies fail to notice that vision is not the same as execution, and there are many factors at play in the digital transformation; it’s impossible to dive head-first in it. Every single department, worker, and executive needs to fully understand the changes and participate in them making maximum effort.

– Under pressure: because a digital company is the norm nowadays, the traditional organizations are under so much pressure to change that executives are making rash decisions, affecting the entire organization and their workers. What they aren’t realizing is that it is not something that can be accomplished hastily, it requires time and dedication. 

– Resilience: going digital means more than having a big budget while focusing on resources for infrastructure; the workforce will need to be trained for these changes. However, not all the workforce is the same so the training must be adapted to their abilities, the best approach here is the “test-and-learn” method for them. Changing the organizational culture is harder than just updating the technology. 

– Communication problems: many organizations put the CIOs (Chief Information Officer) and IT (Information Technology) teams in charge of the digital transformation, forgetting that the change is for the whole organization. Good communication is the result of having everybody on board, which means less conflicts and therefore less setbacks. 

Companies that refused to change

Here’s a list of the companies that failed to adapt to the digital world. 

– Kodak: the photography titan failed to understand the potential of the digital camera, and in 2012, they filed for bankruptcy.

– Nokia: everybody had a Nokia phone in the year 2000, but they put more efforts in hardware than software, so they lost against competitors such as Android and Apple. Even if the company still releases new phones, it needs to catch up with brands like Samsung and Huawei.

– Blockbuster: it was the leader of the video renting stores way before Netflix existed. In 2000, the streaming company offered an alliance to put it in charge of the digital side, they were turned down; in 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. 

– Yahoo: in 2005, they were the best search engine and could have been bigger still, but they didn’t see the need to improve the user experience. Both Google and Facebook could be theirs but they, regrettably, turned down both offers.

– Blackberry: is a case similar to Nokia, but the problem with them was that they wanted to protect their traditional models with keypad against new ones such with tactile screens. In 2017, CEO John Chen announced they would focus in a new strategy.

– MySpace: they were the kings in social media before Facebook, but with the launch of this social media and others, MySpace lost its popularity. Fun fact: in 2005 Mark Zuckerberg offered Facebook to MySpace, but its CEO Chris DeWolve rejected the $75 millions offer.

– Hitachi: was a company of electronics devices, and even with Asia’s  increasing popularity as a developer of electronics, Hitachi couldn’t be a the same level of companies such as Sony or Panasonic. Now they focus on developing microchips.

– Toys R Us: they were the leaders in toy shops. Their big mistake was to sign a 10-year exclusive contract with Amazon, who also sells toys by other brands. With this contract, Toys R Us lost their chance to have their own digital catalog, and in 2017, they filed for bankruptcy. 

The digital world is here to stay; if a company doesn’t make changes to keep up with new developments, sadly, it will be its end. Companies that failed to adapt to new trends, campaigns, technologies, devices, and more are the ones that will remain in the history of the corporate world. 

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