Every product or service has a natural life cycle that begins with an introduction, followed by growth, maturity, and inevitably a decline as it becomes yesterday’s breadwinner. There are no exceptions.
The bulk of revenues and profits of any service or product is generated during the growth and maturity phases. By the time a product, service, or process has entered the phase of its natural decline, it should ideally have already been replaced with something more lucrative.
Several of the world’s big music companies, such as Universal Music Group, BMG, and EMI, could have easily opened the world’s first online music store separately or together, but each refused to let go of a business model that had allowed them to enrich themselves and abuse artists, distributors, and broadcasters for decades. Instead, they continued to fight constant court battles to ensure that things would remain as they’d always been. Then along came Apple—a computer company—which used the iPod and iTunes to knock the old …