10 Industries That Are 'Dying'? Or 10 Industries That Are Changing?
from the i'd-argue-they're-changing... dept
A few folks sent in variations on a recent report about “10 Dying U.S. Industries,” which lists out and discusses ten industries in the US that have already gone through serious declines and are facing even more declines:
Six of the 10 are clearly getting killed by technology: wired telecoms (i.e. landlines); newspapers; game and video rental; video postproduction; record stores; and photofinishing (i.e. photo printing).
Two of the 10 are clearly getting killed by global competition: apparel manufacturing and mills. (Mills, in this context, basically refers to what we think of as textiles ? it includes textile mills, textile mills, apparel mills and carpet and rug mills.)
It goes on to note that the “formal wear rental” situation is really due to global competition as well, since cheap foreign production means that people are more willing to buy their own formal wear these days, rather than rent it.
Of course, I’d argue that the issue here may be more about how you define “industry.” If we define them at a wider level — for example “communications” rather than down to the specific level of “wired telecommunications carriers,” it’s easy to see that the industry is rapidly changing, but not at all “dying.” I think this is a problem that we come across a lot. People look at a group of companies and falsely define them as an “industry,” when they’re really not. It’s the old marketing myopia problem all over again, where people in the train business don’t realize they’re in the transportation business, and thus do little to adapt. I think it does everyone a disservice to call these business lines “industries,” when they’re really just a temporary piece of an ever-changing industry.