- First, in a culture that pursues progress, things will change. Change is absolutely inevitable if progress is to be made.
- Second, the advantage lies with those who are able to identify the advancements that improve upon current situations. Identification of future needs is critical process.
- Third, as time progresses and advances are made, there are things that should not change. Even in a culture of change, core assets should remain at the center.
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.” ~Jim Collins Who hasn’t owned a pair of Chucks? The first official basketball sneaker—the Chuck Taylor—once dominated the sneaker industry, and in the early 20th century, was the #1 chosen basketball shoe. The Converse Corporation seized the opportunity to be the “official” basketball sneaker, and, at the time, the “who’s who” of basketball sported the Chuck Taylor. However, like many great success stories, ascending to the top and remaining there are incredibly difficult, and altogether different to accomplish. As time passed, the Converse Corp. suffered serious setbacks; and by the 1980s, the Chuck Taylor was no longer seen on the basketball court. As advancements were made, particularly with the advent of the Air Sole, and with a little help from megastars like Michael Jordan, the Nike Corporation started dominating the basketball shoe market. By the 2000s, the Converse Company, for a variety of reasons, declared bankruptcy and was eventually bought by its competitor—Nike. We are not business historians, nor are we experts on why some businesses succeed and others fail. We leave that work to folks like Steve Forbes and Jim Collins. Rather, we share this story because it reminds us that even though giants can fall, the greatness born from invention can survive. Even though the Converse Corp. is now a subsidiary of Nike, the Chuck Taylor itself remains a dominant selling shoe and and still holds a distinct niche among people today. It is the epitome of what we call “original greatness,” an OG. Pink Chucks can be seen worn by 10 year-old kids, while the classic Chuck is even popular among power-lifters. Chuck Taylors represent history, simplicity, quality, relevance, and significance. The shoe itself transcends time, generations, or even style. Find it fad among skateboarders, school teachers, and rock stars. The story of the Chuck Taylors and Converse is fascinating and leaves us with three distinct conclusions: