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As the old saying goes, the scenery only changes for the lead dog. But what if the very basic game that you have been playing changes. In other words, what would happen if some NEW invention improved the product experience of what you are selling and made what you were selling "a lesser experience"?

Imagine that you are Barnes and Noble or Borders.

Now imagine that someone like Amazon invents an electronic book called "the Kindle." The Kindle is a neat little invention no bigger than the size of a paperback book, but about 1/2 inch thick. Now, imagine with a click of a button, consumers, who bought that product, could just download any book they wanted...within 15 seconds. Now, imagine that this little device could hold 15,000 books?

What would you do if you were the CEO of Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Inc.? Would you try to make a deal with Kindle to provide them with a database of your book buyers so you could get fees for all the books they could sell to your list? Would you try and invent a "better Kindle"? Or would you try to find a unique niche market that still liked the paperback book and hardcover book experience? Maybe you would become Barnes and Noble, a retail seller of greeting cards, audio CDs (although that business is gong away), or would you become a sanctuary where people could come, read their books, plug in their computers and have a latte?

These questions could become equally relevant for bowling. In fact, when the open play trend ramped up, many proprietors jumped on the bandwagon and started to delete bowling leagues from their product offerings.

Some are sorry they did that. Others are very happy they did that. Still others saw the opportunity to enter the industry and build boutiques, FECs or convert some lanes to "private party areas."

Not many of these folks are sorry. I can cite many a client who has opened a new FEC or boutique bowling center and is one happy camper. Game-changer.

Think it only happens to the techy guys? How about automobiles? How about typewriters? How about pencils? Or bowling score sheets?

Point is you have to keep your eyes wide open for the next game-changing product because it could affect your business overnight. And poof, you're a buggy whip.

Better to be eyes wide open than eyes wide shut.

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