If You don’t Adapt, You Won’t Survive

Remember when Blockbuster was the juggernaut of video rentals? I thought that company had the video rental market in he bag as many of you did. Oh, there were many VHS rental stores, but Blockbuster was the cock of the walk. Then there was a new kid on the block, Netflix.

I reference this scenario to the video game console battle of the 90s. Remember when Sega, and Nintendo were the only two big ones to get? Some people bought a 3DO, or Neo-Geo, but the masses were Sega bound, or played with power. Then an electronics company dared to step into the arena. It never had a library of mascots, or a console for that matter. People expected the new guys to fizzle like Atari Jaguar, or Philips CDi, but this new video game console company had something that the others didn’t, extensive marketing experience with a slew of other products, and they wouldn’t fade, Sony.

The Playstation exploded through like a house of fire, and laid waste to the vets. One just left, and the other is limping. Those companies couldn’t adapt.

That’s what happened to Blockbuster. Netflix began in 1997. It didn’t have VHS tapes. The lowest medium was a DVD. That was risky because DVD players weren’t as mainstream as they are now in 1997. They had only been on the market for a few months. They had no late fees like Blockbuster did, and also no consumer brick and mortar stores. It was made for the internet. This was when Facebook was seven years away. It was no doubt risky, but look at the risk takers now.

Reed Hastings launched Netflix that way. The naysayers tried to burry the newer, more radical business model. They said it was dead on arrival. Netflix is winning Emmys for their original shows now, and what happened to the juggernaut Blockbuster?

It wouldn’t adapt, so it didn’t survive.

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