With today’s news of HP’s split and last week’s eBay split, a couple of stats about the longevity large corporations came to mind:
- From 1973 to 1983, 350 corporations fell out of the Fortune 1000.
- From 2003 to 2013, 712 corporations fell out of the Fortune 1000.
As the data above illustrates, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for incumbents to stay ahead. Innovation which is something most corporations give lip-service to is often reduced to a buzzword or punchline at many big organizations. It is, however, increasingly critical not just to thrive but to survive as the Fortune 1000 data highlights.
Interestingly, today, the threat to large corporations rarely comes from a single company or business model. Sure, the old rivalries are important to consider (think American Express vs Visa vs Mastercard or Citibank vs. Bank of America or even HP vs. Dell), but what we’re seeing more and more is that the large incumbents are fighting a multi-front war.
Essentially, big corporations are being unbundled. Instead of a single monolithic competitor or a handful of monolothic competitors, their products, markets and customers are being attacked by tens or even hundreds of emerging companies.
It is death by a thousand cuts.