Anyone who knows me understands that the only thing I loathe more than being late is someone else being late. While sometimes being late is completely unavoidable (transportation issues, family emergencies, traffic jam, etc.), other times it is just simply a tolerated bad habit. To be sure, I have friends who freely admit they are “always late” and I’m okay with that because they are my friends.
However, when you apply the same habit of being late in the business world, it’s a far less forgiving proposition. For example, in the promotional products industry, the vast majority of distributors have gone to market the same way for decades – by dropping of a few catalogs and then waiting for an order. This continues to happen at an alarming rate even as the landscape has completely changed. More than that, the audience is screaming for a client experience that is as close to frictionless as possible. When you ignore what the marketplace desires, it’s as arrogant as it is irresponsible.
History is littered with companies that were either late, or outright ignored, shifts in their respective markets: Kodak, Blockbuster Video, and Blackberry come to mind.
The fact is that those who are consistently late to marketplace evolution will be punished harshly by their soon-to-be former clients.