McKinsey: Getting out of a business while the going’s good

In 1975, companies that produced typewriters would have been wise to exit the business. Five years later, producers of the stand-alone word-processing terminals then replacing typewriters should have quit that market, as well. Of course, the economy still has businesses not long for this world, at least in their present form—ten years from now, for example, word processing may largely have migrated to the “cloud”—and even in healthy product or service markets, an owner may not be the right owner. Some companies can’t read the tea leaves. Others read them perfectly well but can’t find the strength or inspiration to act. Read “Learning to let go: Making better exit decisions” (May 2006) to summon your inner scalpel.

Image: eryq.org

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