Across the Charles River to the north of downtown Boston sits the city of Cambridge, MA. Cambridge, best known as home to Harvard and MIT, is also the original location of Polaroid. The once dominant camera company delivered instant gratification to photographers across the globe.
In 1991, Polaroid’s annual revenue reached the $3B mark and was a wildly successful company. In 2001, the original Polaroid filed for bankruptcy and its assets were sold off. The company went from powerhouse to liquidation in just ten years.
How did this happen to a firm once part of the Nifty 50?
Quite simply, the world changed.
A Changing Environment
Through the late 80’s and 90’s the use of home computers proliferated and soon after digital photography started to take hold with consumers. Polaroid, vehemently dedicated to print photography, its core business for so many years, failed to transition to the digital era.
“The culture of the leadership was chemistry and media first. It had little respect for hardware… They had a considerable amount of fear from the chemical and film people about what would their job be if we got into electronics.” – Hugh McKenzie, Former Polaroid Executive
Polaroid failed to adapt.
The ability to adapt is the key to survival. This is not a new or original concept. Charles Darwin identified this 160 years ago in his work on evolutionary biology.
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself” – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
The Opportunity in Financial Services
Today, financial services as a whole finds itself in a changing environment.
Not only are the preferences of your customers evolving, but so are the expectations of your employees. Fee pressures are compressing margins. Regulations continue to get more onerous. Many services have been commoditized. And technology is changing as fast as it ever has, if not faster.
How do you not only survive, but thrive in this evolving landscape?
Don’t fall victim to a myopic focus on what you’ve always done. It’s not going to get you where you want to go in the future.
Today’s technology provides unprecedented opportunities to increase operational efficiency, reduce organizational risk, and position your firm to win as digitization sweeps through the industry.
Overcome organizational inertia and capitalize on the opportunity to gain a competitive edge.
Interested in learning more about technologies that can propel your business forward? Let’s chat.