Predicting what business conditions will be like in one, two or three years’ time is like attempting to read tomorrow’s weather!


But there is a difference between an educated guess and a gamble.



In the 1970s and 1980s Japanese car manufacturers acquired about 30% of the US passenger-car market.


But for years, General Motors (GM) fiddled with prices and discounts of their traditional models – Buick and Oldsmobile – with little effect.


Even after the late 1980s when GM launched the ‘Saturn’ – a smaller car to compete with the Japanese – they continued to pour money into redesigning and ‘modernizing’ the old models rather than developing the new smaller range.  Neither the Buick or Oldsmobile benefited and the Saturn was all but destroyed.


What should we learn?

‘Abandon yesterday to create tomorrow.’


  1. 1. Don’t tie down productive and able people by trying to revise traditional products because you feel they ‘still have a few goods years of life.’
  2. 2. Don’t keep a product, service, market or process going just because it is ‘fully written off’ in the books. Don’t ask ‘What did it cost?’ Ask ‘What will it produce?’
  3. 3. Don’t try and maintain the old and declining product or service and neglect or stunt the growth of the new.

Don’t sacrifice the future on the altar of yesterday!’


Source: Management Challenges for the 21st Century, Peter F. Drucker