Nov 8, 2013

Weekly Highlight: 45

The 45th week of 2013 presented the world with an excellent example of business yin and yang.

A company that started business in 2006 and launched an IPO on the human need of communicating is suddenly worth $28 billion.

Meanwhile a company that has been around since 1985 and once had 9,000 stores, announced plans to close its last store.

This is Twitter and Blockbuster.

Anyone who had a smug Blockbuster employee proudly announce your video rental late fees can only say, "Good Riddance."

It is not so easy to say "Welcome" to Twitter. Here is human communications nibbled down to 140 characters. Not words. Not sentences. But characters. And spaces count. Clearly this is a reaction to the Facebook blabbermouths who go on rants about how good their picallili pastrami rye sandwiches are and how afterwards they're going for a manicure. Now such a person has to break up the rants into bite-sized rants, although they are still empowered.

While I work tirelessly to simplify and hone my writing, 140 characters seems more caveman than succinct.

The biggest irony is that Blockbuster had a chance to buy its competitor, Netflix, in 2000 for $50 million. Yes, that's the same Netflix that today is worth more than $19 billion. And Netflix ended up putting Blockbuster out of business.

If you ever despaired about making a business work, just remember how quickly Twitter made it big. And if you ever wonder how you could be so lucky in business, don't forget Blockbuster. This is how quickly business moves these days.