Skip to main content

How to sucessfully fail without trying

             

By The Urban Blabbermouth
~
Today, I walked past the Woolworth Building.  The Woolworth Building is one of the oldest skyscrapers in the US and was the world's tallest building for more than fifteen years in the early twentieth century.  The building stands as a symbol of great architecture and as a symbol of  business failure.  The Woolworth company does not exist any more.  It may have morphed into some other company but it does not exist as the Woolworth stores that I knew when growing up.  

How does a company run by some very smart men go out of business?  I understand that the business environment does change and that Woolworth did not keep up.  But it's not like Woolworth's management did not have examples to show them what to do.  Walmart was rising up while Woolworth was going down.  All the management of Woolworth had to do was follow the Walmart example.  How hard can that be? 

Maybe the Woolworth management did not have what it takes to change the company.  Old companies get set in their ways and do not want to change.  Like dinosaurs, they fade and another company rises up to take its place.  Capitalism at work.

Maybe after the Woolworth founder, F. W. Woolworth, died, the Board of Directors could not find anyone to replace him.  The Board could not find other managers who had F. W. skill and knowledge to run his business.  I find it hard to believe that the Board could not find a capable manager in the entire USA.  It is not easy but the managers are there.  Could have hired some of the Walmart managers.

At the extreme, Ayn Rand, via Atlas Shrugged, would probably suggest that the freeloaders took over the company.  The company became full of employees who wanted the salary and did not want to work for it.  As a result,  the hard workers left Woolworth to work for other companies (eg Walmart)  or to start their own companies.  You would think that the freeloaders would save the company so as not to kill the golden goose.  But, you can kill a golden goose if another golden goose can be found to replace the dead one.

Woolworth has come and gone.  The professors who study business cannot explain why this happened.  The professors do not know if it was lack of skills or just bad luck that killed Woolworth.  This is bad news.  Today, There is a long list of companies on the same path as Woolworth.  Sears, J.C. Penny, and Blackberry have already commenced their trip to obscurity.  They will spend the next ten years slowly dying.  Walmart and Microsoft are now on the cusp of the same path.  Their next set of decisions will tell us if they can save themselves.

Maybe the companies will leave us some impressive buildings to remember them.

Comments

The Urban Blabbermouth said…
See a pic of the entrance to Standard Oil's HQ. Another famous building for a company that does not exist anymore.

http://theurbanblabbermouth.tumblr.com/tagged/famous-buildings

Popular posts from this blog

A Subway Journey Home

by The Urban Blabbermouth. Comments are welcome! ~ There is a ritual to theNew York City subway system. Once there, you lose your humanity.  You are transformed into a savage, brutal and selfish automaton.  Savage in that you push and shove other riders out of your way to get into the subway car.  Brutal in that you never excuse yourself for any atrocities that you commit to get in the subway car.  Selfish in that you never give up your seat to anyone, no matter how crippled or old or pregnant they are.  Automaton in that you never look at any one else as a human being.

Now there are certain strategies that you can employ to be a successful subway rider.  You can stand by the door and obstruct the way just to be selfish and ornery.  That strategy is designed to increase your standing with your fellow passengers by impressing them with how vicious you can be pushing back at people trying to push into the car.  Whenever I see this strategy employed, I immediately piggy back on it.  I move …

Gone Shopping

by The Urban Blabbermouth
~
Dracula escorted his newly created undead aide into the store.

"...and you need to sleep in the daytime," he explained.

"But what are we doing here in Sleepy's Mattress store?" asked his aide. "I thought we slept in coffins."

"We are modern now," replied Dracula. "We use a mattress like anyone else. I tell you, after two hundred years of sleeping on rock and dirt, this is a joy. So much more comfortable and you don't have to haul it around from place to place."

"Amazing," said the aide.

"For a newbie like you, maybe you want to go traditional. Sleepy's has a Posturedic that will fit inside a coffin."

"What do you use?" asked the aide.

"I have a sleep-number bed. I love it. Mrs. Dracula can toss and turn and I don't feel it on my side."

"Now that you mention the ladies, I think I will skip the coffin. A moo…

Girl Fantasy

by The Urban Blabbermouth
~
I am binge watching Lost Girl on Netflix.  It's a fantasy television show where the main character is a succubus.  A succubus is a demon who feeds on sexual energy.  You can imagine, with a premise like that, why this show was on TV for five years or so.  It's a light show, not much heavy drama or violence, but then I have only watched three episodes.

There are issues with Lost Girl.   Let's start with the obvious.  The succubus is a woman, not a man.  If the demon were a man, we would be uninterested in the show.  As we all know, men have that famous second brain that controls them.  It's just men being men to like, want, and actively pursue sex.  That's boring. 

There is a another reason that the succubus is a woman.  This implies that women who like, want, and actively pursues sex can only be demons.   I've got news for you, women have that second brain too.  It's just tiny compared to men's.  Maybe that's why …