The twentieth century saw more technological change than any other before it in history, and here in the twenty-first, the rate only seems to be accelerating. No business has remained untouched by this phenomenon, of course, but some companies have undergone more radical changes than others. Take a look to see how adapting can mean success in the future.
This tech giant was of course founded during (and helped to catalyze) one of the most massive technological upheavals of the twentieth century: the personal computer revolution. And while the company certainly does still sell plenty of those with its desktop and MacBook models, these days it’s much more well-known for its huge role in the emergence of the immensely profitable smartphone, tablet, and MP3 player markets, as well as being the largest online music seller in the world.
Barnes and Noble
The Internet age has not been kind to brick-and-mortar booksellers, which have been increasingly squeezed between eBooks on the one hand, and the online bookstore giant Amazon.com. Barnes and Noble is essentially the only surviving national chain after the 2011 folding of Borders. This company has learned to deal with faster communication through Global CTI and online marketing. They’ve adjusted by pushing their own online offerings, as well as the Nook, an eReader meant to compete with Amazon’s Kindle devices.
This company was of course founded in the Internet age, originally serving as a sort of online Blockbuster-by-mail. You can still rent physical DVDs through them, of course, but as broadband has become more ubiquitous, they have increasingly shifted their focus to their online streaming services, which reportedly became such a massive source of traffic it caused a skirmish (and then a special agreement) between them and ISP giant Comcast.
Founded in 1946, this company has been on the cutting edge of many emerging technologies, such as the portable music, the gaming console, and the compact disc. Currently one of the three giant contenders in the so-called “Console Wars”, Sony recently sold off its Vaio PC division to focus on other endeavors.
IBM stands for “International Business Machines“, and many people don’t realize just how old the company is- over a century, having been founded in 1911. Originally purveyors of typewriters and adding machines, IBM was at the forefront of the PC revolution (the very term ‘PC’ often refers to “IBM-Compatible” systems), but has since gotten out of the PC market almost entirely.
No doubt all of these companies will face sweeping changes in the years ahead as well. It should be interesting to watch how they continue to adapt and change with such fast-paced technology.