September 17, 2008, 10:42 PM — A systems integrator friend of mine has done very well over the years by being a specialist. Of course, we all know that a specialist is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing.
The problem is that his specialty has been real estate offices and their very specialized applications. It has been great for the last 20 years.
But things have changed. His customers are dropping like flies. Real estate agencies are going out of business as if there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately, for many of these businesses, that's exactly right.
This integrator now finds himself in a struggle to survive. He hasn't laid off any staff yet, but it's not far away. To rescue the business, he's looking at new opportunities. Serving the home automation market, making calls to support small home-office networks. They're even looking at other specialties, such as the religion (I hate to use the word "industry" here) firmament -- churches, synagogues, etc., and medical offices.
What are you doing to survive? Post your comments below. Perhaps you have a great idea to share; perhaps someone else's idea will get you thinking. It's time we all hang together. The road ahead is going to be a very bumpy one.