It is better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation.”

Herman Melville
Author of “Moby Dick”

Days of Disruption:  Along for the Ride  

This week saw the United Auto Workers go on strike against General Motors. Wages and benefits are always key items when a contract is up, but a new concern for the UAW is the future of plants and possible closings due in no small part to a host of new forces including anticipation of autonomous and fully electric vehicles, rise of a “rental vs buy” economy and a “new vs. used economy” which futurist and Vistage Speaker David Houle feels will dramatically cut the number of cars on the road.

The auto industry is over one hundred years old and no stranger to disruption but this chaos is just getting started and different in kind, not just degree. Houle provides a good updated summary of the major factors that have impacted the auto industry previously and what will disrupt it in the decade ahead. 

Every industry gets disrupted at some point; what’s going on in the auto industry may help you think about your response when it’s your turnCheck out his short blog posting on the auto -industry; because we’re all going along for the ride.

Playing to a Captive Audience

 Most sales people would rather sell more to existing customers than cultivate new ones, because finding new buyers is often a long hard process. Vistage Speaker Marc Emmer suggests that your customers need lots of things you’re not selling that they’d just as soon buy from someone they know. Who wouldn’t want to sell to a captive audience? Check out his short blog suggesting 5 Ways to Sell More to the Customers You Already Have.“

“Competition is For Losers”

If there’s anyone qualified to write about successful start-ups it’s Peter Thiel who backed Paypal, Palantir and Founders Fund. His 2014 book, “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” should be required reading, or a re-read, for anyone looking to start a new company, division or product line….or rethinking the business  you’re already in.
If you don’t have time for the book, this 17 minute video of Thiel sharing three of the core messages of the book could be time well spent. One of those messages is that “Competition is for losers.” His thoughts on that alone are worth the time to watch.

Decisions, Decisions

 Many companies will be focused on strategic plans, budgets and other decision-making activities between now and the end of the year. Vistage Research has prepared a guide to help you with the tough calls. Download Vistage’s Decision Factors: 2019 and Beyond before you get too far into the decision making weeds.

Econ Recon:

Hong Kong Harbinger: Recent weeks have seen lots of political unrest that effectively shut down the Hong Kong airport. As important as these political protests are, there is a an economic aspect to Hong Kong’s airport that has not made the headlines and it started before the recent unrest. Hong Kong is the largest freight hub in the world and decline in its traffic is an important economic indicator. Connor Lokar  of ITR Economics explains why Hong Kong is a more important economic harbinger than you may think.
Economic Self-Talk: Mark Twain once said that “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” The same applies to the economy. Some are asking if the recent forecasts of downturn mean a recession is coming, or are we simply talking ourselves into one? This brief article from Fortune polls several economic luminaries for the answer.