Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Are You Prepared For The Future?

Worried about competition catching up with you?  Good.  You should be and you shouldn't be.  Well you should be if you aren't prepared for the battle.  And you should not be if you aren't prepared.  

Tim Cook, Chief Operating Officer(COO) and acting CEO of Apple said in his commencement speech at Auburn University in Spring 2010, "In business and as in sports, the vast majority of victories are determined before the beginning of the game.  We really can't control the timing of the opportunity but we surely can prepare."  That was so striking  to hear and almost made perfect sense to me about the importance of preparation.

Today, I read an article about CEO of Finnish cell phone company Nokia, Stephen Elop's  internal memo send to his executives about competition in the smartphone business.   One paragraph that really stand out in his memo is mentioned below:

"The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable."

Why Nokia fell behind in smartphone business was because they weren't prepared for the future.  Almost four years past initial iPhone's launch, very few companies are not even close to iPhone.  This shows Apple's preparation which took years before anybody was even thinking of a smartphone.  

If you know that weather is going to be bad and the outlook is not looking good then you should not go out unprepared.  We certainly don't know how future will turn up, but we can certainly prepare for it.  So when our chance comes we are ready for it.

Winning the future is all about preparation.  Start it now.