December 2, 2013

In a sign that every business has a business cycle, the video store has for all practical purposes come to the end of its cycle with the announcement that Blockbuster, which Dish bought out of bankruptcy in 2011, said it’s closing all remaining stores.

From its birth in the 1980s, the chain became an American neighborhood icon with 5,500 stores by 2005. But the video market has now shifted dramatically to online. Even Redbox, the current king of DVD rentals, has joined Netflix in focusing on streaming video online. Cable TV is also focusing on video-on-demand services via the Web. Good discussion for the week: What are you doing to make sure your business cycle isn’t ending?


  1. I’m might reword the question, Mark. Business cycles end, that’s just a fact. Sony doesn’t make walkmans any more. Chevy doesn’t make Hummers. Dish has gotten out of the video store business. While cycles definitely end, businesses don’t have to. How can they extend/morph/translate their brand identity into the next cycle instead of riding the old one into the grave? That’s the real question. And these are good case studies too. Sony let Apple sneak up on it with the iPod. Chevy let Toyota take the lead with the Prius while distracted from the Volt by the Hummer. Dish has a chance here, but was clearly short sighted in buying Blockbuster to begin with. Category leaders may be the most susceptible, wanting the “good old days” to continue forever when they never do.

    • Good insight. Yes, it is all about embracing change.

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