Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Buggy Whips

Imagine it is sometime around 1910 and you are the worlds largest producer of buggy whips. Your last product the Model 7 was a big success but the young folk don't seem at all interested in buggy whips any more because they are excited about these new fangled auto-mobiles. Of course no self respecting gentleman would be seen in a noisy smelly auto-mobile so buggy whips are going to be around for some time yet but you cannot deny that the real growth business these days is motoring goggles. Do you:

a. Develop a brand new buggy whip (the Model 8) that has a buggy whip welded on to a set of motoring goggles. It is a pretty good buggy whip but unfortunately to bind the two parts together you had to dispense with the handle of the whip. Users wear it like a pair of goggles and they crack the whip by nodding their heads vigorously.

or

b. Accept that the buggy whip market is going to shrink but make sure that you keep the lion's share of it by making Model 8 the best buggy whip you ever produced with all the good features from Model 7 and improvements specifically tailored to those folk who are going to stick with horses. As for the automobile business ... well you could have a chat with that young engineer in the design office who has some foolish idea about putting a glass panel on the front of an automobile so that drivers don't need to wear goggles.

So, what do you do? 

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