Failing companies, marketing catastrophes and a simple way to leapfrog your competitors

Gaining a competitive advantage might not be as hard as you think. In the end, it all comes down to diagnostics…

In the early 1980’s, computer company Wang Laboratories were flying high. They employed around 33,000 people, boasted annual revenues of $3billion and, in 1982, appeared in the bestselling business book In Search of Excellence by McKinsey consultants Robert Waterman and Tom Peters. Unbeknownst to them, though, their market was evolving. The fortunes of Wang Laboratories were about to change.

How to jeopardise a company’s future

Blinded by their success, the company failed to spot the rising demand for open-source software. So by 1984, just two years later, they were in serious financial trouble. They’d fallen behind and couldn’t regain ground. Eventually, in 1992, the company filed for bankruptcy protection. They took their eyes off the market when things were going well and inadvertently condemned their future in the process.

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