Friday, August 27, 2010

Harley-Davidson’s Business History Lesson

I’m very excited about the evolution and growth of Never Stop Marketing and I hope it continues.

But, as a history major, I know that the reason we study history is so that we don’t repeat it.

Watching the Harley-Davidson biography from CNBC the other night, I was humbled and reminded by how things can go very well…and then, not so well.

A company that is over 100 years old and is, without a doubt, an American icon has seen its share of turmoil.

I think the lesson here is like the eternal lesson, be it the “7 years of feast, followed by 7 years of famine,” the “grasshopper and ant parable” or any other sage advice about preparing for lean times.

The good times don’t always last.

But I think there’s another lesson.

What HD did to survive and prosper was to not give up, keep innovating (dare I say ‘Never Stop Marketing’?) and to take smart risks when others were afraid.

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