Instagram vs. Kodak

I’m not a business guy. I’m a blogger. A purveyor of amateur opinions. But now that I’ve worked in a business for six years, I’ve come to recognize that some business savvy is required to get things done—even and especially if you hold none of the purse strings. (I don’t even know what the purse looks like.)

So I took great interest in the many business leadership lessons in the recent biography of Steve Jobs.

And our second dot.com bubble (maybe more of an app bubble) is providing some business lessons, too. When 13 Instagram app developers who make no money can sell their business for $1 billion, and when venerable giants like Kodak are unable to produce such innovation—we’ve come to a watershed technological moment.

This fascinating article argues that a company’s past successes can be its biggest dead weights. How can I make new products of good quality without letting past—and passé—successes unhelpfully determine their shape? When does my old constituency become a drag on developing a newer and bigger one?

When these questions arise, you go the lodestone of your corporate philosophy and raison d’être. But what if they are wrong? Tough questions for any business—and any ministry.

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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