Every major wireless carrier now has a new CEO. I’ve been a wireless analyst for the last 35 years, watching the industry and commenting on more companies than I can count. With that said, I am very excited right now because I believe the wireless industry is now set up for its next big change wave.
Consider the new CEOs like Hans Vestberg at Verizon, John Stankey at AT&T, Mike Sievert at T-Mobile and now US Cellular with Laurent Therivel. The wireless industry has already begun its next big growth wave. Now with these new leaders, the direction and pace of change the companies and the industry will go through will accelerate.
Hans Vestberg, John Stankey, Mike Sievert, Laurent Therivel new wireless CEOs
The wireless industry has reached its next inflection point. These new CEO’s have it within them to re-write the rules going forward. Things will be very different going forward.
So, we should expect and prepare for plenty of change and hopefully growth going forward in the wireless industry.
The difference is this time around, these companies are not all heading in the same direction. So, every investor, worker and customer must be aware of what is happening going forward. Things will be different.
It happened several times in the past. Remember when the first iPhone and Android hit the marketplace. It was a slow start. Carriers needed to do something to jump-start growth. They offered free wireless data services for a few years to entice the marketplace to use it.
They did. Since that point, apps grew from a few hundred to several million. That’s an incredible growth wave. The industry grew rapidly during the next several years.
The next big change wave in wireless has started
Now we are starting the next big change wave in the wireless industry. Since this time, carriers seem to be heading in different directions, that means they won’t all perform the same going forward. Some will be better than others. Some will perform better than others in the short-term.
Some companies will continue in the wireless space only, while others expand into other industries to mix and mingle with their wireless services.
This is the change wave that every investor, every customer, every executive and employee need to be aware of and understand.
Investors, workers, customers need to be prepared for growth curve
The Growth Wave is a concept that is simple. A company is either growing, has crested, or is falling. Every company sits somewhere on that Growth Wave. What about the companies that are important to you?
Understanding the Growth Curve is important to you and is your key to success.
An example of companies on the growth side of the Growth Curve are Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon.com and many others. There are so many, large and small, new and old.
They continue to show strong and ongoing growth. As growth of one product or service slows, they introduce the next growth wave and it continues.
There are also countless examples of companies who have crested and who are now on the falling side.
Next wireless growth wave has begun
An example is in the wireless world when Apple iPhone, Google Android and Samsung Galaxy entered the picture. Previous leaders like Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry suddenly found themselves no longer growing.
This happened quickly. That’s why it is so important to understand where each company is on the growth curve.
Many retail stores which we are all familiar with have been on the falling side of the growth wave for quite a long time. They are either failing or closed. Companies like Lord and Taylor, Montgomery Wards, Sears, JC Penney’s, Circuit City, Borders Books, Toys R Us, and countless others.
We can all think of countless brand names that we knew and used, who are now gone.
Companies who can stay on the growing side of the growth wave can continue. Those who cannot, simply fail and eventually disappear.
Companies need to keep the growth wave going
Sometimes they have a key product that lasts a long time. Other times its lifespan is short. Either way, they need to create the next growth wave before this one crests and falls.
This was the problem Motorola faced in the 1990’s. They were king of wireless handsets for quite a long time. Their last big hit in the 90’s was the Star Tac. Then they didn’t make the leap from analog to digital fast enough.
Motorola crested and failed going forward. Nokia and Blackberry led the next growth wave.
Several years later Motorola rebooted and came up with the Razr. This was before the iPhone and Android and it was a hit for a few years. The Razr was successful, but that was just one product which rose and fell on the Growth Wave.
They had no big hit after the Razr. So, they couldn’t keep their growth going. They’ve been struggling ever since. Now they are working to re-launch the Razr. There is an important lesson we can learn from this.
Like Motorola, there are plenty of companies who found the perfect product and they were on the growing side for quite a while. But that product grew, crested and fell.
That’s why companies need to come up with the next product or service and continue their ride on the growth wave. However, too many never understood this concept, and they fail to keep fueling the fire under their growth engines. That’s when they crest and start to fail.
Every company needs to stay on growing side of growth curve
Any way you slice it, every new CEO needs to keep their company on the growth track, both short term and long term. Short term for the investors and long term for their marketplace leadership position.
They need to keep fueling the fire. Or they need the next big thing. Those who don’t, crest and fall along with the product or service.
Success and growth can be long-term or short-term. By every measure companies want to avoid the shooting-star syndrome. Shooting-stars blaze a bright trail, then disappearing forever.
Shooting-stars blaze a bright trail then disappear
So, if every company rides the growth wave and only some continue to do so while others fail, it’s important for everyone understand this process.
Investors must take stock in all the companies they invest in to make sure they stay on the growing side of the growth wave.
And it goes beyond investors. You must continually take stock in all the companies you are involved with as an investor, customer, executive or worker.
Make sure these companies are on the growth side and are staying there. This is the only way to position yourself for success going forward.
Don’t just assume a successful company will always be that way. Some are. Most aren’t. Some CEO’s keep hitting it out of the park while others fail. That’s why you must understand, and you must be prepared for your own sake.
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