Think for a moment about the tech companies that we know and perhaps love. More importantly the ones that we know. For example, take Microsoft, Google, and Facebook to name some small ones. As I am sure you would agree they are very successful and most would agree that they are successful for two reasons.
- They have successfully fought tooth and nail to maintain the value that they have in the market with their technology.
- They have painstakingly have risked being innovative to add new value with their technology.
Both Microsoft, Google, and Facebook would not be as successful as they are today if they hadn’t succeeded in both of these. Companies come and go when they just focus on maintaining their originally successful value because another company can come along and do it better, faster, and cheaper. Microsoft is more than just an OS provider. According to Discovery.com, “the company has been able to maintain its market position over decades for several reasons, including the following:
- Microsoft’s business structure has allowed it to maintain immense financial reserves. In 2011 alone, for example, Microsoft reported more than $50 billion in cash reserves. This helps the company compete with industry giants as well as small innovators.
- Because they were first in the industry, Microsoft has been able to build a brand and market position that allows it to build on past successes.
- The company maintains a competitive corporate culture that keeps its employees “on their toes.”
- Microsoft pays great attention to hiring the “right” people — workers who have a lot of energy and are innovative problem solvers.
Microsoft always keeps an eye on what’s hot in the computer industry. In 2011, the company purchased the Internet communications company Skype, creating an entire new business division. Also in 2011, Microsoft proved that it could remain strong in all areas of computing, with new Office software, new Xbox offerings and updates to Windows Phone. This diversity helps keep the company on top.”
The same is true for higher education and eLearning.
If you are reading this then I gather you are involved in perhaps higher-ed, online learning, eLearning, educational technology, instructional design, all things education, etc. We have to on one had maintain the value in our programs, degrees, courses, designs, technology, etc. and realize that they cannot always stay the same. The world is evolving. Culture is evolving. The landscape of learning, how to learn, where to learn, and how much it costs to learn is also evolving. New online colleges, new online programs, new ways to learn online, etc. are looking to take over.
Yet again, at the same time we must figure out how to add new value. We must innovate. We must create and think creatively! What does this mean for you? How are you doing so? What are your thoughts? I look forward to venting with you on our soap boxes in the comments below.