Once a Business gets to a decent size, running it successfully is generally a long, but smooth process. Yes, there is huge movement in its initial phase (the startup phase) but in time if the business succeeds everything tends to smoothen out. There are issues and upheavals here and there but in all everything turns into a smooth ride, or ideally it should….

This brings along with it two things that are very dangerous for a company-

1. Complacency – The company might believe that it has achieved a position of safety from where it could not be displaced easily. People might start taking things casually or start believing that they can afford a few mistakes here and there. Now, while mistakes are essential in growth the mistakes that are made by the company (in turn the people who work there) because of carelessness sometimes hurt the company more than other companies can.

Something like this visibly happened with Nokia.

2. Sluggishness- All big companies suffer from this at some point of time (perhaps the ONLY exception to this would be Google) and many perish because of being sluggish (or rigid) or become obsolete. Some of course are able to come out of this and start over again. Microsoft is the biggest example for this. A company that used to take 3-5 years for their OS has recently launched its newer version in a year and promises even faster updates.

These things happen and regimes changes. The biggest question is that when does it end for a company?

Is there any point of time from where a company might not be able to recover without a miracle?

My case here is for all the companies that are in the PC business.

PC Companies

Now, I do not believe that the PC business is going anywhere anytime soon. This however does not mean that it is not shrinking. This means that the companies that were once large will automatically shrink with it.

Even if the percentage remains same for these companies, they would not be making as many sales as earlier. Another issue that will come (is coming) is that companies that were not in the PC business will come into it from sideways (Google Chromebook).

Most people do not need beefy hardware and with internet connectivity improving and people getting adept at using small screens, many will opt for such products. Even smaller and cheaper laptops would sound better proposition. This means that the profits reduce even faster than sales.

While some companies like Lenovo are eyeing the smartphone market others like Dell and HP have been away from it. Now, in my opinion, it is too late for these companies to even make a splash in the smartphone market.

Even if they entered, they would be just a small plant under the shade of the likes of Samsung, Apple and even HTC, ZTE and Sony. Have these companies passed their prime and are now just old folks waiting for the final day.

As I see, they are.

The former glory cannot come for them from the existing products they sell (PCs) and neither will it come from Smartphone. Many of these companies are vying to enter (or re-enter) the mobile space. While, this is necessary obviously, the key to getting back in the game is not smartphone anymore.

They have to bring a new product in the market. A completely new vertical has to be created by these companies if they want to become relevant. Something they can learn from Apple. Be it a music player or a smartphone, they created a new vertical despite the fact that these things existed already. Google is another example of this.

In products, Digital camera comes to my mind. It changed the way photos were taken and Kodak, THE CAMERA COMPANY, no longer exists. Other companies took over. This is the only way companies like Dell and HP can become a force in the market once more- by changing the market.

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