In the not too distant past, Blockbuster was a household name in terms of home entertainment in America. Blockbuster is the place to go to rent DVD and VHS for the evening and weekend relaxation for many Americans. They have millions of videos, charging their customers on late fees and they were raking in billions of dollars every year from their willing customers. In 2004, there were about 9,000 Blockbuster outlets all over the world, but things began to change when Netflix came onboard the Home entertainment industry. Redbox, Netflix, and other entertainment companies started competing for share of their slice in the billion-dollar industry. Gradually, the slow but sure demise of Blockbuster followed as more competitors entered the space. As at July of 2018, Blockbuster has only one store left in America, the last one standing of the company which has become a sort of tourist attraction place is located in Bend, Oregon.


What happened to blockbuster? How did this iconic home entertainment company go from hero to zero? Don’t wander too far, Blockbuster’s demise was as a result of the spate of technological disruption that invaded our planet within the last two decades. In today’s world, you either disrupt or you get disrupted. You either re-invent yourself, or you become extinct.  In the case of Blockbuster, they were slow to act by clinging to the same business model of renting their videos to customers while companies like Netflix was providing unlimited online movie streaming to their customers. They ignored the opportunity to buy Netflix when it was just a little startup business. They failed to see a vision of a world where customers can sit back at home and enjoy on demand movies.


How are you reinventing yourself? What do you need to do to better position yourself for the opportunities that tomorrow will bring? The days of job security are long gone. The era of guaranteed pension is over. Social security is in jeopardy. Freelancing is becoming trendier as more people look for ways to become their own masters.  Every man and woman have to be strategic and intentional to be able to withstand the impending technological disruptions. The need to reinvent and recreate is the impetus for one of the chapters in my book; Winners’ Ways where I wrote about how to become a creative thinker. I have developed a simple approach called the A-B-C of re-invention to help you. Whether you are an individual or a corporate organization, the A-B-C approach will help you to stay relevant and serve more people. Below are the A-B-C of re-invention:


  1. Associate yourself with the right people: You are the average of the five people you associate with. To reinvent yourself and stay relevant, you need to assess your association. Are they adding value to you? Are they helping you to challenge yourself to get better? If not, you need to reshuffle and change the people in your network. From time to time, organizations use this strategy to enter into agreement with other companies to work together to develop solutions to challenging problems in their domain. For example, General Electric and Microsoft recently entered into partnership to accelerate industrial internet of thing (IIoT) that will help industrial companies better capture and analyze data for greater intelligence. Also, not too long ago, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase teamed up to create an independent healthcare company for their employees in the United States. They are working together to reinvent themselves and disrupt the healthcare industry. If Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon can leverage the power of association to stay relevant, I definitely think everyone should adopt this approach as well. You may need to find mentors that will challenge you to become a better you as you work on reinventing yourself.


  1. Be adaptable to new ideas: Companies that go bankrupt, people that become outdated, or countries that remain backward are the ones that refuse to innovate, learn and adopt new ideas. For an organization to reinvent itself, the company will need to constantly innovate and find ways to consistently expand its customer base. Apple recently became the first publicly traded company in America to hit the trillion-dollar market capitalization. By all account, Apple is a successful company, but despite that, Apple is not resting on its laurels. The company has been quietly going into the healthcare space. They have apps on the Apple iPhone and Watch that have health-monitoring features, such as heart rate detection and physical activity monitoring. The company also recently announced that they are working on developing health chip that will be able to monitor blood sugar. If a phone company can adapt and become a healthcare equipment manufacturer, then everyone needs to learn from them. How has your job or career change over the years? Are you acquiring new skills that will help you compete in the current and future market place? Inability to become adaptable was one of the reasons why workers in the coal and steel industries are becoming outdated in the job market. The industry and the workers were disrupted by technology and global trade agreement which led to continuous loss of jobs in the coal dependent states in America. Tariffs is currently being deployed to stop the bleeding, but will it work? Uber is disrupting the transportation companies, Airbnb is a threat to the hotel businesses. No one can effectively fight the consequence of reinvention; the best strategy is to adapt and get in the game. Disrupt before you are disrupted.


  1. Creative thinker: The power of thoughts cannot be over-emphasized. What you are and where you are today is almost a direct result of your thinking. You can use your thoughts to create a world that you desire. Many people enjoy discussing problems, how bad their bosses or employers are, how corrupt the government is, but they spend little to no time on finding solutions. A creative mind is a solution driven mind. You can use the power of creative thinking to bring positive change to your life. This power can motivate you to achieve your goals in life. The power can be used to provide the necessary drive that you will need to make progress in any of your endeavors. This power can help you to set up and run your business, it can help you to get out and stay out of debt, it can help you to build good relationships with other people around you, it can help you to build the next billion-dollar business, and it can help you in practically every area of your life. The good news here is that you have that power within you. Get creative as you start on the path of reinventing yourself.

Blockbuster, Circuit City, Nokia, and Toys ‘R’ us are all have something in common, they failed to reinvent themselves and they became victims as a result. The question now is not “Are you reinventing yourself? but “How are you reinventing yourself?

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