I see what you’re saying, but again that’s only part of the story. While it is true that Blockbuster Total Access launched at the end of 2006, Blockbuster Online launched back in 2004 and the reason for the delay wasn’t that they didn’t see the potential for the online business, but because Blockbuster was in the process of being spun out from Viacom for most of 2003.

Also, Blockbuster had actually begun a video streaming service as far back as 2000, in a partnership with Enron, which was way before Netflix. Although that partnership didn’t work out, for reasons which should be obvious, the company’s leadership was clearly aware of it and working on their own service when Jim Keyes switched the focus back onto physical stores.

I see your point that a company is more than a CEO, but my point in the article was similar, that you can have the right strategy and still fail if the internal networks are not aligned.

With that said, I don’t think your comparison with Bezos is apt. Bezos is a founder and a major shareholder. Antioco was a manager at the behest of a corporate raider. So that is, as you say, quite a different animal.

Most of all, and to return to the main point of the story, often stories like Blockbuster, Kodak and Xerox are portrayed as simple problems with simple answers, when, in fact, the issues are far more complex than first appears. You can be completely aware of a strategic risk, devise a coherent, sensible strategy and execute effectively and still fail.

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Bestselling Author of Cascades and Mapping Innovation, @HBR Contributor, - Learn more at www.GregSatell.com — note: I use Amazon Affiliate links for books.

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