HBR – Strategy in a World of Constant Change

Am I the only person to be getting a bit weary of hearing it repeatedly asserted that we’re living in a world of constant, accelerating change? That competitive advantages are becoming ever more transient and that the secret to survival will be to the ability to transform on a dime? Otherwise, what happened to Tom Tom will happen to you. Please!

Let me share a fun clip with you, sent to me the other day my former colleague Jonathan Rotenberg, founder of the Boston Computer Society. It chronicles Steve Jobs’ first public introduction of the brand new Macintosh, which happened in January 1984 at Jonathan’s Society in Boston. The whole event was was a cool trip down memory lane.

The moment I loved most was during the Q&A when an older gentleman asked Jobs a challenging question about the mouse as user interface technology: did it really compare favorably to the traditional keystroke approach? It was fun to watch a younger, mellower Jobs give a patient, reassuring response and not insinuate that the questioner was a moron. Jobs turned out to be quite right in his answer, which was that once people gave the mouse a try, they would see that it was far superior to keystrokes.

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