Important Business Focus in a Competitive Environment

Dear M & M:

What do you feel is the most important thing a business should focus on in today’s competitive environment?


Dear Tom:

Believe it or not that answer is easy and can be summed up in two words, innovation and imagination. We have all heard the prognosis that fifty percent of the jobs of our children entering the first grade will fill don’t even exist today.

Last week at the Arizona Small Business Enterprise business luncheon keynote speaker Austin Vickers suggested fifty per cent of the fortune 500 companies today won’t even be in business in twenty years.

According to Vickers, “imagination as a currency has never had a higher value. Billion dollar companies are being created and destroyed faster than ever due to new advances in technology and processes.” 3D printing could become one of the most disruptive technological breakthroughs in years.  They are already printing shoes, clothes and other household items.

3D printing in your home eliminates the need for warehouse storage, transportation, production of wrong sizes, wrong style or wrong color just sitting on shelves of buildings being heated or cooled waiting for a consumer to buy.

Why do we need a clothing store, shoe store or some of the other retail storefronts when people can make what you want to wear or use right in your own home? Need to build a 2,500-square-foot house in less than 20 hours?

It sounds like a tall tale, but a professor at the University of Southern California, Behrokh Khoshnevis creator of contour crafting, says it is absolutely possible. He would toss out traditional building practices and replace them with a single 3D printer.

How soon we forget. Many people thought it was impossible for humans to fly without wings. Even when on October 5th, 1905, Wilbur set an endurance record in the Flyer III, flying over 34 miles in 38 minutes people still said it will never amount to anything. Every company should be focused on what will I be doing next year?

What can I do to innovate and what am I doing to spark imagination in my own company? Do you have a process in place to cultivate innovation and imagination? Source: Celebrating 100 years of flight by Kate Reuther and Contour Crafting by B Khoshnevis


To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email


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