27 Nov 2019
Part of my weekend ritual when I was much younger in the 90s, was the visit to the video and then DVD store to rent the latest releases, No downloads or streaming then.
It seemed to me that every high street had a Blockbuster video store.
At its peak in November 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people worldwide, and had 9,094 stores. But where are they now?
They have fallen victim to new technology, increased cinema attendance, small kiosk-based rental systems like Redbox, and the rise of streaming giants such as Netflix.
These have all destroyed the old video/DVD rental business model, but it could have been oh so different.
In 2000, Netflix proposed that it would handle Blockbuster's online business, and Blockbuster could host its in-store component (thus eliminating the need for mailed DVDs).
The deal was Blockbuster buy out the fledgling Netflix. They could have bought Netflix for $20 million!
According to an interview with former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy:
"They just about laughed us out of their office."
Netflix has grown to dominate the streaming world, while the only remaining physical Blockbuster store (a privately owned franchise) in the entire world remains open in Bend Oregon, colloquially known as the Last Blockbuster.
I would contend that Blockbuster had a plan to expand and expand, but they did not have a vision to compliment that plan. In a nutshell their plan did not take into account the world changing around them.
The late Jim Rohn, the American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker has a great quote which is relevant for many of us in life and business when we ponder on what our future could become, it’s this:
“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.”
Sometimes we get decisions right sometimes we get them wrong, that’s life.
Blockbuster if they had taken time to get out of their comfort zone and get off that cosy corporate fence would still be here now as the owner of Netflix if they had the vision to see what the future would bring.
Vision is no esoteric business concept, it’s how we define our future and secure success.
I think of it as the destination we wish to reach, this can sometimes be easy but the hard part is to define the key steps we need to take on that journey.
Vision is a process and you need a structure and framework, so as we approach the end of the year I’d like to ask you some questions to help you plan your 2020 vision.
When you answer these questions honestly, then ideas will flow and the path to your vision becomes mapped out for you.
One point I would stress strongly, is that it is important to write these answers down.
I firmly believe ideas kept in your head are just imagination, putting them down on paper makes them real.
Do this simply and in plain English. Then the steps you need to take are outlined, including the resources and budgets needed to make your big ideas of 2020 happen.
If you doubt the power of vision, I’ll leave you with another quote from Jim Rohn:
“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.”
So no excuses, what will be your 2020 Vision?
John Joe McGinley Glassagh Consulting November 2019