Cannibalisation

Cannibalisation is the very attitude that seems to set APPLE on the course of ever-growing in the technology space, and it is due to its ability to cannibalise itself.

Apple is said to have increased its market capitalisation to 950 billion dollars despite fierce competition from other cell phone manufacturers, and this came to the fore after their CEO Tim Cook delivered a keynote speech at the WWDC in San Jose, California in the USA.

As the news of what they have achieved bundled around, it was what CNBC said in their breaking business news segment that intrigued me, and this is a paraphrase of an excerpt that caught my attention;

“They are transitioning from being more of a cellphone player to more of a subscriptions-based business with higher margins that are much more predictable”

Apple’s software and services segment has experienced some of the company’s strongest growth  in recent quarters. Segment sales rose 30 percent in the first three months of 2018, building upon 17 percent growth in the same quarter of 2017.

Analyst surveyed by FactSet (Research Systems Company in USA) anticipate segment sales to rise by 23 percent this year. Services currently make up 13 percent of total revenue.

Not too long ago, I overheard my dad tell someone over the phone that please make sure that, that tractor had been completely cannibalised.

So I went to him and enquired what that was all about.

I did that because all along I have always known Cannibalism as the practice of eating the flesh of one’s own species, and such cannibalistic behaviour is very common in the animal kingdom.

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However after his explanation, I then understood that cannibalisation can be used in a different context.

Upon hearing this news of APPLE’s giant leap, it then dawned on me why they have been able to do so well in the market, even after the demise of its great founder Steve Jobs.

It is this ability to cannibalise itself.

Simply put: it is the ability to eat oneself or one’s products, without waiting for another company to collapse their product.

This is the hallmark of how to sustain a business in the 21st century. Your very existence depends on how you can totally eat yourself up.

How many of us do remember IPOD from Apple? Where is the iPod now? They have cannibalised it. They did not wait for another company to put the iPod to extinction.

How many of us do remember the first original cell IPHONE from Apple? Where is it now? They have cannibalised it. That one had the iPod embedded within it, but as I write this; this particular cell phone with the iPod is no more in existence.

Many people are wondering at the influx and saturation of cell phone manufacturing companies, and if APPLE will be able to hold its own and there it goes again by gradually eating itself from the cell phone space by TRANSITIONING ITSELF FROM BEING A CELL PHONE PLAYER to more of subscriptions based business through its software services.

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So one might ask, what is all this about, and how does this relate to me?

It is about you realising that you have the ability to ensure your continuity by leading in what you do and not necessarily looking out at what someone is doing, or what  your competitor is necessarily doing as a business entity.

How do you cannibalise or as an organisation cannibalise?

  1. After successfully doing well at whatever, immediately think of using a basic part of that success to undo the first one you had a lot of applause for to create an entirely new one for example, MTN of Ghana started off as a communication service provider, but it is currently cannibalising itself to be a financial service provider.
  1. Constantly think of, if what I do now is no more, what will I do! Be very philosophical in your approach to anything. For example, I just cannot for the life of me, understand why staff at various branches within banks do not perceive the extinction that is about to befall them as a result of their organisation’s aggressively pursuing digitalisation of its branches into software applications that can be used on cell phones, or devices by their customers. They are simply cannibalising various branches or outlets of their outfit.

It doesn’t matter how big you are as an individual, or an organisation or how you feel on top as an individual or an organisation, if you don’t cannibalise yourself; you will be a reference point just like the dinosaur.

Think about it.

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