3 Industries that outlived their age…due to our inertia


Humans are built on habits and we are reluctant on changing them. Change unfortunately is the name of the game we call life and an essential part of our life. Whenever a new technology comes the industries working on or dependent on those technologies have to either adapt to the situations or go out of business. We have seen numerous examples of that.

In fact I can cite a few just now:

  • Kodak- Could not transition from Reel photography to digital.
  • Nokia- It is still fighting but if it will become the same force as of old is now a question people have stopped asking.
  • Sony- Introduced a better technology but later adapted VH tapes and was immensely successful.
  • Samsung- Adapted in the new smartphone market and is now the biggest mobile company where smartphones are concerned.

These are just some of the companies and some of the products that are there in the industry. Industry is filled with such examples.

There are some exceptions to them. These companies may not be thriving but there business should have come to a standstill, but it has not.

Out of habits, we let some things happen and this sometimes become a cause of an industry outliving its use. There are some industries that are selling products that have lost practical significance but are still in the game because of nostalgia or habit.


1. Watches

We do not need watches. That is the plain and simple truth. There are watches everywhere, our laptops, mobiles, tablets and what not.

The need for a watch to see time is really gone past. But they still sell. Their sales might have gone stagnant, but they still sell because people buy them, wear them and feel a certain satisfaction in seeing time on a watch.

This is an inertia that people do not want to let go off. Now, watches from being an object of use have become an article to flaunt.

The truth though is that watches have outlived their need.

2. Newspapers

I know what most people will say. Only the people who have access to internet can afford the luxury to leave newspaper out of their lives and this is a small fraction of the general population. First, it’s not the internet that I believed killed the newspaper; it is 24-hours news channels. Why would a person want to read news that has been told, analyzed and discussed a day before with his dinner. And yet, they are bought everyday and are thrown most of the times. I am myself guilty of that.

My newspaper is partially read thrice a week and completely maybe once a fortnight. Still, it will keep coming in my house for a foreseeable future!

3. Messaging Services

This is not exactly killing any industry but it still counts as end of an era for me. Messages are still being passed no doubt, but as the reliance on internet increases (even 2G) and the smartphones become cheaper, services like Whatsapp are taking over messages.

We can send pictures, audio, video everything via these services where the messaging service (SMS) is still playing with 160 characters and MMS are costly. Even feature phones are capable of running some kind of service like this. Thus, any phone that can connect to internet has the capability of superior messaging at no cost. Yet, messaging service continues to be and companies still offer packages like 100 SMS a day free and like. It is a lost battle for SMS in my opinion.

There may be other services or industries that are negatively affected but are still sustaining because of our habits or because of industries log-headedness.

Would live to hear from you, which services you think are lurking beyond their graves.

  1. Dharuna Manivannan says

    Yes true! We forgot alarm clocks, Calculators, tape recorders.. also pens.. We don't use them anymore.. Innovations makes simpler, better living!

  2. Kunal Prakash says

    Forget about laptops, PCs or tablets. Mobiles my friend are true killers of Watch. A cheapest mobile has a watch that is more accurate than almost any hand watch and even a rickshaw waala has one now a days.

    As for SMS, I too agree that it has a long way to go and you forget that TATA Nano is costlier than any bike whereas this is not the case with whatsapp or bbm services. They are at par with messaging services while providing better options like pics and video transfer.

    I completely agree that Landlines are no longer in use except as intercoms and broadband. :)
    And I am just glad wooden rulers were not replaced by more durable and accurate steel rulers. Imagine the horror!!

  3. Siddhesh says

    Agreed on the first part of examples like Kodak, Samsung, Nokia, etc.
    Sort of confused on the second part.

    1) Watches.
    90% of Indians still do not have a computer (I know thats quite a large number to believe, but its posted on http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/hlo/hlo_highlights.html)
    To put it straight, people who have access to computers wear a watch for prestige. They fall in love with the brands and get involved in the advertisements they show on TV!
    People who do not have access to computers, wear it to have a watch on Time! :)
    Just the very bogie in a mumbai Local wud suggest the amount of a difference a minute would make, if they run a bit late. No tabs, Lappies, PC’s can help here. a watch can! :)

    2) Newspaper:
    Sorta Agreed… But with the pics and masala they add, basically newspaper should be renamed as page3 paper! :P

    3) SMS:
    hmm, even when the penetration of whatsapp, BBM and Smartphone messaging is considerably high, and that people who “can” message, “would” prefer internet messaging, i think this has a long way to go! Its like saying a two wheeler market has outlived its age as we have a Tata nano! :P

    I would feel the industries that outlived the age would be,

    1) Landlines (without broadband, no use!)
    2) umm… mayb wooden rulers industry? The wooden rulers are more inaccurate than the plastic ones, but are used to beat up kids.
    now that beating kids is an offense, and wooden rulers considered inaccurate, this should be extinct! (this was just for fun! :)

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online