The guest speaker we had in class brought up many interesting points. The main one that caught my attention was the fact that the internet and advances in technology have led to the foreclosure of many businesses. After we discussed this I started thinking about just how many businesses that I thought were very stable had suddenly gone out of business due to new advances in technology.
For example, our speaker discussed how Kodak went out of business this year because of the inability to keep up with new technology. Growing up Kodak was a household name and the number one brand in cameras, making it even more shocking that something so large could go out of business! Since the advancement in smartphones, digital cameras, and screen shots on laptops, Kodak became obsolete in the new digital age.
More examples of stores that were going out of business came up throughout the discussion. This lead me to do some research on my own and I found that many news sources have looked into this issue, such as the link below for an article by the NY Times discussing Barnes and Nobles last stand to save it’s business. For instance we discussed how book stores like Barnes and Noble went out of business. Since the ease of access to things like Kindle, Tablet, Google Books, Amazon, and Ebay, book stores are a dying chain. The idea that people one day may not have the ability to go to the store to purchase the latest book from their favorite author, but instead can download straight to their phone or Kindle is incredibly strange and new to me (even as someone who grew up in the technological age!). Directly affected by this phenomenon are things like publishing companies that are being put out of business because the days of paperback books may soon be over. In this sequence the one invention of an electronic book has led to the domino effect and downfall of many storefronts.<a href="Barnes and Noble Takes a Stand“><a href="
<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/business/barnes-noble-taking-on-amazon-in-the-fight-of-its-life.html?pagewanted=all”>Barnes and Noble Takes a Stand</a>
Another example that we discussed is the downfall of music stores and CDs. With the expansion of things like itunes, going to music stores to purchase CDs (or back in the day cassettes) became a thing of the past. Not only did it directly affect music stores and cost the closure of many stores nationwide, but now even itunes is having trouble keeping up since so many people can just download music illegally from a number of sources. It seems like the next big thing is constantly under the threat of falling off the mountain top.
A final example that we discussed are businesses for movie rentals like Blockbuster and movie theatres in general. I remember so many nights going to blockbuster (I think I even still have a Blockbuster card in my wallet to this day) and picking out movies to rent for $7 a night! Now there isn’t a blockbuster to be found and Redbox has taken over. Then, just when I thought that Redbox was the new thing and the new invention for movies I was told the other day that no one uses Redbox anymore because you can just download movies! Once again the new technology is being replaced with even newer ideas.
Overall, I know I have rambled on regarding technology putting stores out of business, but I guess my main point is that are any businesses truly safe with the high speed technological advances that occur everyday? When someone thinks they have come up with the next great idea, how long will it be until that idea is replaced by something bigger and better? Years? Months? Minutes?
As a student about to graduate and embark in the world of business, it’s thoughts like these that make me more nervous than ever before. Students that had to graduate before me had the trouble of trying to find a job with their degree; however students that I am graduating not only have the difficulty of obtaining a job, but the added pressure to hope that job can stay in business long enough to assure job security for me! In the midst of the ever increasing technological advances it’s never certain how safe a business can be.
I am also doing my final project related to this issue so if anyone has any comments or would like to see more feel free to visit my blog page!