Friday, November 22, 2013

The Transfer Window is Opening

Well pals and gals, it's that time of year once again.  Befuddled watch company owners/ board members will be pulling their heads out of their collective backsides as they finally come to grips with their balance sheets, see the red ink that has been accumulating for the past 11 months and say "how did that happen?"  As if it was some sort of sudden development.

And once again, action will be taken.  The same executives who were smiling confidently a few months ago, saying things like - "Yes, but we're REALLY big in the Mid-East", will be spending January and February punching up their resumes looking for a new "opportunity".

And those who haven't found something by BaselWorld will be populating the lobby area of the Ramada.  And actually this is my new business idea - start a headhunting firm specializing in the watch industry.  Simply camp out in the Ramada and put all of the executives on one side, put the HR representatives on the other, and do a sort of "speed dating" event.

I am joking.

Sort of.

Because ultimately, the watch industry continues to amaze me with its iron-clad unwillingness to learn from its mistakes.  "Well, executive X failed at three different companies - but let's have him run our company.  I am SURE that everything will be fine."  To my way of thinking, it is a bit like buying "retread tires" and then being surprised when you have a blow-out on the highway.

And this is not limited to Switzerland - although there does seem to be a real passion for this sort of willing suspension of disbelief.  Here in North America we see the same players, simply changing jerseys.

So who's fault is this?  I can't blame the CEOs or the North American troops.  Ultimately they are doing what they need to do to survive.  But it is a pretty startling reality.

If you continue to do the same thing, again and again, and somehow expect to get a different result...

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