Crystal Ball

Gazing Into The Crystal Ball

A big part of being a successful entrepreneur is learning to see the future.

You have to learn to FORECAST TRENDS, so you know what to build…

When to build it, when to enter a market…

And most importantly, when to shift the focus of your existing business.

Companies like the Yellow Pages, for example, never envisioned people being able to search for a business on the web…

Until it was too late.

Blockbuster never imagined a service like Netflix, where folks could simply click a button and watch a movie over the web…

And chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble never imagined a company like Amazon.

Hell… The entire publishing industry never imagined a company like Amazon!

See what I mean?

Think about this for a minute…

Then lets gaze into the crystal ball together, shall we?

Big shifts are happening in the following areas:

1. PRINT NEWSPAPERS: The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. Most newspapers have transitioned to “web versions” and are working with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone carriers to develop models for paid subscriptions. The ones that haven’t will be gone.

2. TELEVISION: Television Network revenues are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy: People are watching TV and movies online through services like Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes… And they’re playing games and texting and browsing Facebook and doing tons of other things with the time they used to spend watching TV.

3. HARD CURRENCY: Sure, we’ll always need to conduct transactions, but hard currency just doesn’t make sense in an era of electronic money. Someday soon, the majority of your transactions will take place online and the “civilized” world will leave paper money behind.

4. THE POST OFFICE: FedEx, UPS, and email have just about wiped out the postal service. They’re so deeply in debt that there’s no way to sustain it long term. Think about it: most of the mail you get everyday is junk mail and bills… And most companies are transitioning to online bill payment systems.

5. BOOKS: What’s that? You say you’ll never give up your physical books? Right… I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my physical CD’s… but I quickly changed my mind when I realized that I could get music for half the price without ever leaving home.

The same thing is about to happen with books.

These days, you can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

Think about checks – If you’re paying your bills online, you won’t need them.

Think about the library, or land-line telephones, or even the files on your computer. One day soon, all your files will be stored in a “cloud” and computers will just be cheap “shells” you can use to access them.

The question is: How do you capitalize on these coming changes?

How can you create a business that lives on the fringe of one of these changes…

So that when the shift does come, you’re already there, with an amazing product that really helps people?