Back in the early '90s, Polaroid was the undisputed king of instant photography. No one else came close.
Polaroid cameras were a staple on every vacation, at every graduation and birthday party. There was at least one snapping shots at just about every relevant event in everyone's pre-millennial lives.
The company was a fixture, permanent and bulletproof. Nothing could shake it.
During that same era, Samsung (IW 1000/14) was at the top of its market too, as the undisputed king of bottom-shelf electronics. Across the globe, the name "Samsung" was synonymous with high-volume, low-quality, affordable appliances and technologies -- a label that seemed as permanent and unchangeable as Polaroid's reign.
But of course, things have changed.
Now Samsung, of course, is a world-renowned maker of some of the highest quality gadgets, appliances and TVs in the world. Meanwhile, Polaroid has withered, hammered by bankruptcy, layoffs, dwindling markets and a brand that seems almost forgotten in the digital photography revolution.
Between the two hides a fundamental truth about modern business: success today isn't just about innovation. It isn’t just about improving products and making things better. It's about reinvention. It's about challenging your own success.
It's about disruption.
Or at least that's what author Josh Linkner argues in his new book, "The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation."
"We can no longer rely on the past as a game plan for winning," Linkner insists. "Deliberate disruption is the only path to sustainable growth and success."
The lesson, he says, is simple: "disrupt or be disrupted."
To help companies make this move, Linkner grounds his book with "eight principles that define the reinvention ethos." A kind of checklist for the brave.
Innovation like this, Linkner notes, isn't without risks and shouldn't be taken lightly.
"Taking on these principles may require you to abandon some ideas you've held for years," he warns.
"That's good," he says. "Letting go of deeply held beliefs and venturing into uncharted waters is a difficult task, but it’s an essential one for innovators."