Sometimes the biggest enemy of sustained success is overnight success. Just ask former superstars like Microsoft, IBM and Google.
Microsoft was once the standard for anything to do in technology sector. But since the glory days of PC, Microsoft has gone through an endless cycle of failed products (Zune) and services (IP TV). After the all conquering innovation of Windows operating system, Microsoft has failed to come up with the next big thing that can sustain the fantastic growth that they are known for. Microsoft stock has not increased at all in the last 10 years, at a time when S&P has outperformed Microsoft stock many a times. Even with their tie-up with Nokia for mobile platform and their 8.5 billion dollar buy out of Skype, the future is looking anything but fantastic for Micorsoft.
Think Google. Yes they are still the darling of silicon valley and the blue eyed boy of Wall Street. But a current research shows that since the search engine, Google has not really come up with any new ground breaking innovation. The cash generating Adsense is something they acquired. They even acquired the popular services like Google maps, Youtube etc. None of these are home innovations, which goes to show the same problem that is crippling Microsoft – they are failing to come up with the next big thing. Google could have gone big in social network. Back when Mark Zuckerberg was still toiling with his novel concept of Facebook, a google engineer called Orkut came up with a social network platform called Orkut. For some odd reason, Google failed to see the potential of a social network. Thats why they didnt believe in the product and Orkut failed to receive the attention and the money that it required.
The lesson is simple. Dont fall in love with your innovation so much that you fail to see the expiry date. The best time to come up with the next big thing is when you are on the high. And dont be a one trick pony.