Sunday, January 9, 2011

Your situation is not original

Lem was a sleepy farming town on the west coast of Denmark in 1898 when a 22-year-old lad named Hansen arrived and bought a blacksmith shop. The market was small, and the demand for horseshoes was soon to plummet. 

But he and his sons continued to innovate. Now they are the world's largest manufacturer of wind power equipment, Vestas. 

 They didn't have access to resources we have now. Reaching that stage required constantly looking forward to where markets were moving, and being aggressive, and overcoming a lot of hardship. But they did. 

They weren't successful because it was a long time ago before "all the good ideas were taken." Their industry still sees new entrants.

The example is not isolated. Population in Bentonville, Arkansas was only about 3,500 when Walmart started. In fact, the company succeeded by focusing on rural markets. 

Lots of world-class companies don't start in "creative centers," where the "new creative class" resides. Backwater country folk creating powerful corporate empires is not a new idea. Nor is it an outdated idea.

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