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Those Pesky Kangaroos -- They jump out of nowhere

Just when you think your business is running like a well-oiled machine; just when you think your business will run smoothly without you; someone pours sand in the transmission or water in the gas tank. Or at least that was what happened in the old days.

Consider what may be the most advanced automobile on earth. The Tesla. I came across an article that Tesla has updated its Autopilot software. How do you update something that still futuristic? I have yet to even sit in a Tesla, much less experience its semi-autonomous driving capabilities. (Although I did see several Teslas on the streets of LA.) It will be years before we see this car in masses akin to Honda, Toyota, Ford and Nissan. But although Tesla’s cars are operating on Autopilot software, the Tesla company is not! They are continually working to bring us the features and comforts we don’t know exist and don’t yet know we need. These are features and comforts that we will soon wonder how we ever lived without.

Volvo’s latest difficulty with autopilot vehicles involves kangaroos. That’s right. It seems the company’s self-driving cars identify animals like elk and moose, probably rabbits and raccoons, but kangaroos confuse these highly intelligent cars. Why kangaroos? Because they are not land-bound creatures. They are different. They bounce and leap making it nearly impossible to detect their presence in front of your vehicle. Lesson: When shifting into autopilot while driving through Australia, you may want to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road lest your intelligent car fails to recognize the kangaroo that jumps out in front of you.

While we in small businesses tend to focus on sales and leads, operations and payrolls; how much time do we dedicate to developing what matters to consumers tomorrow, next year and in three years? How will we do business differently in five years?

I guarantee that if you are successful today, you are marketing, selling and operating much differently than five years ago. For most of us, not because we planned or saw it coming, but because it smacked us in the face and we had no choice but to change.

If you are like most businesses, you have your hands full keeping up with today. I doubt that many small businesses (If you are a remodeling business, contact me!) have a department dedicated to the future trends, developing new features and comforts that homeowners don’t know they need, but will someday wonder how they ever lived without.

The next time you sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and think, “Finally, I have my business just where I want it. It’s running on autopilot,” you may want to consider that at any moment a kangaroo may jump out in front of you and you won’t see it until it’s too late.

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