Look, I’m no business expert. But as an amateur photographer with a strong affection for Kodak, and particularly the Kodachrome film (deceased for some years), I think there are some lessons for the wine industry as outlined in this account of the decline of this once great firm.
The main lesson is that current performance isn’t the result of what you are doing now. There’s a time lag. If you use metrics to measure your business success, you are actually measuring how you were doing a couple of years back. Or five years back. Or six months ago. It depends on your business sphere.
Kodak, it seems, took some short term decisions without realizing it. In order to protect their core business, they ignored their gut feelings about future trends. They wanted to protect film, so pulled back on digital. Some denial in action?
If you are a wine company, beware of both trends. How you act now will determine your success in a few years’ time. You could already have missed the next trend, but it won’t show up on your balance sheet yet.
Also, if needs be, be your own competitor. If your main business emphasis has a shelf life, let your next be the new cutting edge. Allow brands in decline to die, but make sure you are developing the next high-performing brand.
No company is too big to fail. Be big, but always act like you are small.