Can you find opportunities in zombie business ideas?

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Zombie Influx
Zombie Influx (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some time ago there was a flurry of interest in BlackBerry because the rumour was that Samsung would buy it out. These rumours were squashed promptly. But the whole saga tended to make one think about slow-moving zombie technologies that refuse to die.

Despite the changes in technology, older technologies such as teletype still exist although in some smaller applications such as secure electronic messaging services in Europe. Why is this? Because it’s possible to deliver messages securely to a recipient without knowing their email address or phone number.

Fax machines are still used extensively in Japan. As one business person in Japan mentioned, he translates Japanese corporate documents and they often specify how to contact various organisations by fax. How many companies or small businesses still have faxes?

Coal-fired power plants pollute the atmosphere and create health costs. Some say that although coal has played a key role in the development of the modern energy economy if the cost of its externalities was reflected in the price of the energy it generates, it would possibly be one of the most expensive forms of power. Why pick on these technologies when envelopes and stamps are still around as are paper receipts, especially on the insistence of banks and legal firms?

In one report failing companies were described as being in a zombie state where the company is still making enough money to stay open but the company itself and its products will possibly never again be a significant force in the technology landscape, according to The Conversation. The article mentions Google’s failed hardware media player, the Nexus Q, the personal digital assistant maker Palm bought and shut down by HP and companies that continue such as Yahoo.

Technologies may go out of favour and be surpassed by better technologies but this doesn’t mean that in other areas practices or methods that were once fashionable and are now out of date don’t hold opportunities. Just think about the new business ideas that have been formed from growing food organically, artisinal products including food, clothing and garden tools. In fact, one successful business came about because serious gardeners couldn’t find strong and robust garden tools in discount chain stores. A business was started sourcing the best garden tools in the world. The entrepreneurial business flourished.

If you have an idea for a new product or service based on an old technology, practice, design or method that was established years ago and you want to customise it to fit with present reality, you may want to get yourself a copy of “Breakthrough Ideas”. This resource will show you that the important thing is not only to have a solid business idea but a plan in hand to do it step by step. It will show you how to do your research, homework and find the right location and team members to establish a business that you are truly passionate about.

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