Tuesdays with a farmer -- Old Vs New Business

You may be good in your business and yet be out of it
One of the ways to success in the Old Era was that you had to be good at your business. You cannot be out of your business if you are good at it. Whatever the prerequisites were, if you are able to fulfill those, you will be a leader in your business. Twenty years back, Crossword  should have been runaway success amongst book stores in India. It would have become India's Barnes and Noble. While, it is doing a good job,we wonder 

What’s happening???

Every now and then, whenever an era changes, we arrive at an interesting moment where something happens and the terms of reference have changed.  Most of us, unable to comprehend what's happening, juggle around to try and put some of our familiar vocabulary, old ways of description into the new world.

Every now and then, I see students talking about whether marketing would be relevant in the new world. This isn’t new at all.  Businesses have always been trying to make themselves relevant. The way they are doing it is by explaining a new reality in terms of an old reality that doesn’t exist anymore.  We are still talking about Customer Relationship Management and other hoary terms of the past which have become really useless today.  

Amazon doesn’t really have to talk about Customer Relationship Management because that’s what their business is all about.  That’s all.  Remember the drivel surrounding Corporate Social Responsbility. You don’t need to keep talking about it.  Only when it has no relationship with what you do, you have to talk all about it.  What we are going through is exactly the pangs which businesses are facing today. They are fighting against this notion that it is still about marketing and still about customer relationship Management. They have no clue what they are talking about in this new reality. We are talking about new design of business here. If you keep getting locked up in old design, you try and push some element of that into the new design and it will not work. And you will not understand why it didn't work. The only reason is, the terms of reference have changed forever.