Another historical company appears to be having some trouble. Sears and Roebuck is a historic company which really took advantage of the railroads and made itself a profitable company over the years from a catalog ordering company to a large department store.
Every Company Has A Cycle
What is interesting is no matter how successful a company is there is requirement for innovation and adaption with the trend. We saw this with Toys R Us this year as well. Many large companies who were behemoths in the industry have not been able to keep up with the trend.
You know… we can say now that everyone should be online. But you need to ask yourself what is the next trend after online commerce that disrupts the business cycle. I have been in online since early 1980’s during it’s infancy and online commerce since early in 1990’s with bbs systems and Lycos search, aol, before google and msn. Back then bulletin board systems (or forums) were how business was done online. Much has changed…
Be Aware Of The Trend After E-Commerce
It is really hard to imagine it, but we do have 3d printers which may put the postal companies out of business. Simply by 3d printing a product you orders right in your home instantly. This appears to be far off, but another industry who may get shaken up is the marketing consultants who manage ads for companies.
Artificial intelligence now is really doing the heavy lifting for decision making for advertisers. I see more and more consultants pushing their ideas, which is great. But to manage the day to day management, what I have seen from building many brands is that companies like Google ads is really doing the heavy lifting for companies.
Another industry is fulfilment centers, these are companies which are specialized in packaging and shipping products and warehousing them for online stores. Some of the larger ones are investing in robotics to have the day to day operations handled. This is quite a necessity as humans will not be able to manage such data on a larger scale.
A Few Industries Forgotten
Let’s not forget the travel industry when agents were handling travel. During 2000 travel sites over took the industry and now people have access to flight data to book their own travel. Of course, we still have corporate companies and people who enjoy or need a travel agent, but the majority use the technology.
I could go on and on… from 2000 till now of industries disrupted. Paypal for payments, LendingTree for peer to peer loans, Drudge Report for news, and now even AI that can read case law. This does not look good for lawyers either. As the new AI can read millions of case law to find arguments for your case, which a human would need to take weeks or months.
So many will be upset about these technologies taking away jobs. But as a society we would need to adapt. If society does not adapt it is like not preparing for a natural disaster. Nothing will be able to change the trend, it is just how the universe works. So best to do something you enjoy and learn about what the world needs and innovate.
Do What You Enjoy To Advance Society
For every sears that may go bankrupt, many new businesses will find ways to help society. And this is really what it’s all about. Helping others and businesses do this every day, some better than others.
So while I can only speculate their is just so many industries that will get pushed aside due to AI (Artificial Intelligence). By no means can we control this trend, but we need to be aware and ride the trend to help society advance.