Foreword for E-Volve-or-Die.com
September 15, 2000
Rick Steele, President and CEO, kinkos.com
of the fittest. Most of us were taught about Darwin's theory in early science
classes, which suggests that the survival of groups of animals and plants is contingent
upon their ability to successfully adapt to their environments. Darwin's theory
of natural selection is no less valid in the world of business, where those companies
that are slow to adjust to change-whether mandated by Wall Street, competition
or customers-are often removed from the landscape by the same ruthless imperative
that governs their biological counterparts.
Darwin studied change that occurred over many centuries, today we are forced to
look at the evolution and survival of businesses in terms of years, months and
even days. When technological advances and competitive demands are coming at a
pace so dizzying that businesses sometimes feel they have their hands full just
keeping up, change is constant and must be looked upon as an opportunity.
Without a doubt, the Internet, and the resulting
"E-conomy," has been the catalyst of change in today's fast-paced, high-intensity
business climate. In just a matter of years, the E-conomy has had a phenomenal
and profound impact on so many facets of our lives, from the way we work and play
to the way we shop and communicate. The emerging trends, explosive market conditions
and evolving technologies of the 1990s provided tremendous, global opportunities
for those of us who were-and are-willing to seize them.
since the Internet is here to stay for the foreseeable future, those businesses
that don't take heed and that ignore the advice presented in the pages that follow,
risk becoming the next victims of the Internet Age. For survival in today's competitive
environment requires a total rethinking of the old ways of doing business-from
marketing and customer service to establishing business partnerships and managing
employees. Chapter after chapter, Mitchell does an excellent job of examining
how business leaders are transforming strategies and operations in response to
the growing impact of the Internet on their companies.
seems that today's fittest companies are those that are in a constant state of
careful, honest re-evaluation and are able to adapt to their changing environments.
In this book, Mitchell's examination of management challenges provides readers
with the emerging trends and though-provoking cases, which will encourage the
re-thinking that is necessary to succeed. One thing that you will find is that
many industry leaders approach this exercise with an open mind, a flexible plan
and a commitment to two things: change and the customer.
I am applying these very principles to my own company, which has seen numerous
changes over the years and has evolved from a contract-based multimedia design
company founded in 1994. While I am not ashamed to say that the business model,
product line, customer base and marketing strategies have changed drastically
throughout this evolution, I am proud to tell you that two things have remained
untouched every step of the way.
it, my commitment to: 1) changing the company in response to market, competitive
and customer demands and 2) doing what is best for the customer every single time.