"Of all strategic mistakes a business leader can make in a fast-changing world, one stands out: fighting the last war — pouring resources into acquisition of companies that have lost market share and betting on products that are near maturity.
"Hewlett-Packard’s leadership made these mistakes by buying Compaq Computer, which was supposed to provide the company with the scale advantage needed in the PC market to compete effectively against Dell Computer, and IBM in a maturing PC market. Also, the near-bankrupt Palm, which was supposed to help the company enter the fast growing market for mobile devices that began to replace PCs.
"Eastman Kodak poured resources into one mature product after another, and now is out of business.
"This week Microsoft announced a $7 billion deal to buy Nokia’s handset business, which has been losing market share to Apple and Samsung smartphone devices – despite indications that smartphones may be approaching maturity and follow the fate of the PC, with one difference: The decline will be much faster than the PC.
"That’s the opinion of those who look at the present through the future, at least."