Are You An Ice Miner?

Interested in getting your company or websites profiled? Leave me a comment with a link to your website 🙂.

What business are you in?

If you’re like most people, you’d say something like: “I’m in the cleaning industry” or (worse) “I sell baskets”.

Did you know that tens of thousands of people lost their jobs because someone answered “I’m in the ice mining business” and again when someone later  answered “I’m in the ice manufacturing industry”.

Guy Kawasaki talks about this briefly in his book. A long long time ago in a land far far ago, there were these really rich guys that ran huge companies that sent ship to cold places to mine for ice. Literally tons and tons of ice were shipped across the ocean each year and sold to households that wanted to keep their food fresh. This industry was huge because practically everyone needed it.

Then out of nowhere came this new technology that completely wiped out ice mining. There were new machines invented that could manufacture ice. All people needed to do was add water to these machines and out would come useable ice. So instead of having to send a very expensive exhibition team to a cold distant land, ice could be made from home.  This reduced shipping costs and the price of ice significantly. It also put ice companies out of business. This marks the birth of ice manufacturing companies.

You’d maybe think that ice manufactures were smarter than the ice miners and learn from their mistakes. You’d be wrong. The ice manufacturers were in turn put out of business by refrigerators companies. Now, people didn’t even have to buy ice anymore. They could just put their food in the fridge and not have to worry about stocking new ice.

So why did each industry die?

They failed to see what business they really were in? They were not in the ice mining or ice manufacturing business; they were in the business of helping customers keep their food fresh.

So why did these ice companies not realize they were in the verge of going out of business?

The problem is that all you were thinking is about their product and not about your customer. You needed to ask yourself, who is your most interesting customer? What are the three things you think they want most of all? So how could you help them do it? This way, your creativity and thinking will greatly expanded.

You might think, well, an ice mining company may not have the technical expertise to create ice manufacturing right? And you’re probably right.  What they need to do was partner with another company that could help them initially or learn the expertise themselves. It’s not excuse for ignoring the market.

Ice mining by the way, does not mean that your entire industry will be obsolete. Maybe your customers will simply buy less of your playing cards or printers, and you’ll be missing out on cashing on your trusted relations,.


4 Responses to “Are You An Ice Miner?”

  1. Silly Stark Says:

    Nice one. The company survives by changing themselves and making their products based on their customer wants and needs instead of just following the same method.

  2. Daniel kwaku Says:

    hello,i really like your saying about companies and businesses s.i strongly believe that i should use your format for my business.Thank you.

    • Eric Tam Says:

      Daniel thank you for the kind words and dropping by. If there’s anything you feel I can improve on, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

  3. Eric Says:

    Thank you for the kind support as always. I really appreciate it :).

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