Mindset: Hallmark


There seems to be an axiom that without paying attention to competitors, continuity, sustainability and adaptation of a business cannot be properly orchestrated in the long haul.

So for the purpose of explaining further, Apple would be used as a case study.

This 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 has introduced its own chip called M1. Presenters took to the stage at Apple’s Cupertino Head Quarters to tell us they were “so excited” to show us some minor software innovation, whether it was memoji’s with face masks or an Apple watch feature which records your exercise routines.

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

“Apple is in constant transition, they never seem to be satisfied; in the chip domain too they have gotten their own.”

Not too long ago, I overheard my dad tell someone over the phone that: “Please make sure that, that tractor has 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.

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

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

It is its ability to cannibalise itself.

Simply put, the ability to eat oneself or its products and not waiting for another company to collapse their own 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 remember iPod from Apple? Where is the iPod now?

How many of us 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 itself and maintain its relevance. There has to be a gradual eating of itself from the cell phone space by cannibalising itself from being a cell phone player to more of a subscription-based business through its software services.

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 doing as a business entity.

How do you or 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 from 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.
  2. Constantly think this way: ‘’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 organisations 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 organization, or how you feel on top as an individual or an organization; if you don’t cannibalise yourself, you will be a reference point just like the dinosaur.

Think About it!

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