Tip 109: Be Sensitive to Changing Technologies So Your Products & Services Don’t Become Obsolete

Tip for maximizing business value #109The fast-paced world of technology is hard to keep up with, but in order to run a successful business, letting go of outdated gadgets is a must. Technology affects every part of our lives. How we communicate, do business, and learn information are all impacted by technology.

Buyers want to know that the products or services your company provides are evolving to meet the needs to the future. Business owners have a responsibility to anticipate changes and adjust their businesses as such.

Many owners have failed at this, and things that were once ubiquitous are now relics of the past. Don’t believe us? Remember when you had to get your photos developed on actual film? Remember using a map to figure out how to get somewhere? It’s hard for us to remember too, but, believe us, those times existed.

20 Products or Services that Have Become Obsolete in the Past 10 Years

  1. Getting Film Developed: While we all get nostalgic for those tiny black canisters with the gray lids, not many people get film developed anymore.
  2. Maps: Smartphone GPS got rid of the need for these.
  3. PDAs: Their legacy may have paved the way for smartphones, but they didn’t stand a chance when smartphones started to become more popular.
  4. Paid Email Services: Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook are just a few of the email services available today completely free.
  5. Fax Machines: E-mail is much easier to use.
  6. Phone Books, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias: Does anyone take their phone book inside when it comes in the mail? These are digitized now.
  7. Travel Agents: The resources available online make it easy to be your own travel agent.
  8. Paper: Magazines and newspapers are available online, and we have e-readers and email–there really is no need for paper anymore.
  9. Dial-Up Internet: Remember the sound of dialing up to the internet? And how it tied up your landline? Speaking of which…
  10. Landlines: Currently, 89% of Americans use smartphones, and as of July 2009, one-fifth of American households had no landline. So, while there are still some left, these are on their way out.
  11. Movie Rental Stores: Between Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO, and Hulu, there is just no need for Blockbuster.
  12. Newspaper Classifieds: Craigslist is the way of the future!
  13. Long-Distance Charges: Woo-hoo! Now, we can even make international calls for free using Skype and other internet chat services.
  14. Pay Phones: Superman will have to find a new place to get changed.
  15. VCRs: DVD players outsold VCRs by 2002, and in 2004 they were outselling them by 40 to 1.
  16. Calling “411”: If you’re looking for the nearest post office, just punch it into Google Maps!
  17. CDs: Digitized music is so much more convenient. CD sales have been dropping consistently for the past several years.
  18. Floppy Disks: Good riddance! These things were very unreliable. Thankfully, now that we have external hard drives and thumb drives, our floppy disks are a thing of the past.
  19. Paper Bills: No more dreading opening your mailbox! Almost all bills can be paid online these days.
  20. Buttons: Remember when you had to press these on your cell phone? Not anymore!

Don’t Disappear Like Dial-Up Internet!

Be honest with yourself. If you see a new technology coming that could make your business obsolete, adapt! All hope isn’t lost. But those who insist on holding onto the past will go the way of VCRs, phone books, and landlines.