22/08/2012 - 10:29

Are you keeping up with changing times?

22/08/2012 - 10:29

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It's no surprise the late Steve Jobs' favourite music was written and performed by Bob Dylan and The Beatles.

IT’S no surprise the late Steve Jobs’ favourite music was written and performed by Bob Dylan and The Beatles. I just finished his biography and it was as compelling a book as Atlas Shrugged.

Anyway, about three months ago I started a column about the 1964 Bob Dylan song, ‘The times they are a-changin’’, an anthem for those times and these times. The times are changing. But for one reason or another I set the column aside. 

As I was reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs I got goosebumps when Jobs got fired from Apple after a decade of it being his creation and child. Devastated, he went home and played the second verse of ‘The times they are a-changin’’ over and over:

Come writers and critics

Who prophesize with your pen

And keep your eyes wide

The chance won’t come again

And don’t speak too soon

For the wheel’s still in spin

And there’s no tellin’ who

That it’s namin’

For the loser now

Will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin’.

I just sat there, stunned. The song, one of Jobs’ favourites, actually predicted his return, and arguably one of the greatest business comebacks of all time. And the timing of my column ... further proof (as if you needed it) there are no coincidences.

The most chilling of these non-coincidences is that my set-aside writing already contained Apple examples of how the world is changed. 

So, here are my original thoughts and the added thoughts since I read the Jobs book.

When Dylan wrote about changing times in 1964, it was about societal change; the politics, civil rights, rebellion of kids, music, and a new generation of thought and expression. 

The same holds true today, almost 50 years later. 

The picture I want to present to you is the big picture of change. Not your sales plan, or your quota, or your boss, or your comp plan – what I’m offering are life changes that go way beyond sales and race for dollars. 

It’s about how technology and your ability to see what is ‘now’ will affect what is ‘next’. Jobs was able to see it and do it because it was his life’s work. But you must intensify your focus (the same way I’m intensifying mine) to see what is next for your industry, your market, and your customers – so there will be a positive impact for your company, your family, and yourself.

The internet, the smart phone, the tablet, and soon internet TV will become a vital part of our society and world commerce – think sales. 

Advances over the next decade will dwarf what is available now, and will change markets forever. 

They will change in: the same way trading of shares of stock and insurance policies were turned upside down with the internet; the same way the iPod changed the way music is played, distributed, and sold; the same way Amazon and eBay became the world’s department store ... so will your market evolve. And it will go to the most prepared to understand, create, capitalise, and master the evolution and the quality of products.

A few examples of what was and what’s next 

• The schoolbook is being replaced by the iPad. 

• The hardbound book is being taken over by an e-book. 

• The smartphone is smarter than you are. Blackberry owned the market, and sat on it – and lost it. Apple has 500,000 apps. Blackberry has about 10 per cent of that number. 

• The television is flat and cheap. It will soon become your home internet connection. Someone will own that market. I’m betting Apple. 

• Got fax machine? Make me laugh. Or should I say, ‘LOL’ or should I say PDF.

• Will cars run on petrol in 10 years?

And with all of that, technology lifecycles are shorter. How have you taken advantage of this? 

The times are changing. How are your times changing?

 

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@gitomer.com 

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don't reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112 www.gitomer.com.

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