The classic problem for successful companies is that they slowly myopically redefine their core competency to be about the product that made them great as opposed to meeting user needs. I saw it at Mattel where ‘toy’ came to mean ‘barbie and hot wheels’ not ‘entertainment and education for kids ages 4-12.’ Guess what happened when their customers no longer hungered after plastic dolls and diecast cars.
Well it looks like Electronic Arts just woke up to the same fact. Their CEO bemoaned that they continued to define ‘videogame’ as ‘high poly count male-oriented console franchise title’ as opposed to ‘fun and social electronic amusement for the widest audience possible.’ Now it’s bit them in the butt as they see casual games and virtual environments gnawing at their dominance.
So remember, whatever business you’re in, recall what it is that you do for your users and be flexible on how you deliver it.