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by Eddie Garmon of OptiPure. Eddie is an IBDEA Board Member.

Over the past couple years I have had the pleasure to visit many IBDEA members at their places of business.  I have been impressed with the individual creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and diversification of IBDEA members who capitalize on market opportunities outside of the traditional soda based businesses.

While I certainly subscribe to the old saying – “let’s dance with the one who brought us” (fountain soda), I see traditional businesses under threat to the old way of doing things. (Think Philly Soda Tax).  Just think about a few companies who changed the game.  Dominos who did not invent the pizza business, they focused on logistic innovations, Uber and Lyft, who did not invent the taxi cab, they changed the “taxi” game without purchasing the first taxi.  The list goes on and on – remember the slide rule – replaced by the pocket calculator – replaced by the calculator app on your smart phone, etc.,etc.

Think about it, some IBDEA members lease ice machines, sell ice, repair fitness machines, lease sparkling water dispensers, refurbish carbonators, etc.  The list goes on and on – what’s next?

I compliment the IBDEA community on these unique market niche segments and also challenge the membership to continue the expansion and accelerate the innovation.

The below noted article is from one of my favorite authors, Seth Godin who speaks to this very
challenge (opportunity)…

When your marketplace shifts

It might happen to you. Many markets have a base (people seeking a solution), a middle (people seeking some originality, something new, something a little better) and a top (educated and passionate consumers willing to go extra miles to get something special).

Here’s what happens (imagine travel agents, for example, or the farmers’ markets in France):

A. a disruption happens to the marketplace, instantly sucking the base out of the market. When was the last time you called a travel agent? Or, in the case of France, the hypermarche destroyed the need to wait for the weekly market to get some eggs and some carrots.

B. without a base, merchants have to struggle to attract enough business to stick around and to invest in getting better. Many of these merchants either don’t have the skills, the resources or the good taste to build a business without the base. They slowly, and painfully, disappear.

C. A few flee to the top. These are the folks with great heirloom tomatoes for sale, or the ones who specialize in high-end cruises or adventure travel. But it’s tough going, because without the base and the middle, every sale is on a knife’s edge, every customer realizes how much power she has.

The marketplace disruption puts huge pressure on any merchant who merely created a commodity. This means vineyards, graphic designers, photographers, etc.

When you see it coming, there are only two choices: Run like hell to a new market, or move up, faster and more boldly than anyone thinks is rational
Seth Goden 12-13-16