A decade ago, Norwegian media group Schibsted made a decision to offer classifieds—the main revenue source of its newspaper businesses—online for free. Today, more than 80 percent of their earnings come from online classifieds.
As Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, pointed out (right as his company was making the leap from DVDs to streaming), most successful organizations fail to look for new things their customers want because they’re afraid to hurt their core businesses. He added, “Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly.”
Incumbents needn’t be victims of disruption if they recognize the crucial thresholds in their life cycle, and act in time.