Boiling Frogs

So the myth goes, when a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that's slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. In many ways it is a perfect metaphor for how businesses (music, books, newspapers, TV etc) deal with potential disruption.

Clay Shirky says it best

The people in the music industry weren't stupid… they just couldn't imagine that the old way of doing things might fail. Yet things did fail… the industry's insistence that digital distribution be as expensive and inconvenient as a trip to the record store suddenly struck millions of people as a completely terrible idea.

Once you see this pattern – with the incumbents the last to know – you see it everywhere.

First, the people running the old system don't notice the change. 

When they do, they assume it's minor. 

Then that it's a fad. 

And by the time they understand that the world has actually changed, they've squandered most of the time they had to adapt.

Disruption is often hard to spot. Your competitor comes in, works for ridiculously small profits, you laugh at them and their measly profits, and then you realise your business has croaked…