Home Thinking Aloud Four Companies That Cast Off Their Constraints And Innovated Like Crazy

Four Companies That Cast Off Their Constraints And Innovated Like Crazy


by Gary Harpst, author of “Built to Beat Chaos: Biblical Wisdom for Leading Yourself and Others

The constraints we face in business — tight deadlines, limited resources, a worrisome talent shortage — don’t have to limit our success. In fact, they can unleash our creativity and lead to big innovations.

Here are four companies that famously vaulted over limitations to create something completely new.

Netflix: Outrunning Obsolescence. 

Remember, Netflix started as a DVD rental service, but as technology advanced, it faced the roadblock of declining DVD sales. Instead of clinging to the past, Netflix pivoted and invested in streaming technology. This bold move allowed the company to disrupt the entertainment industry and become a dominant player in the streaming market.

Delta Airlines: Solving the Pilot Shortage.

In a time when airlines are struggling to find enough pilots, Delta got creative. It recently announced its new flight academy program in partnership with Skyborne Airline Academy. The idea is to ensure a steady supply of talent by training the next generation of pilots. Other airlines, such as United Airlines, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, have also launched similar programs. This trend presents an opportunity for businesses in other industries to learn from these examples and develop their own strategies for attracting and nurturing talent through educational initiatives and engagement programs.

Apple: Staging a Great Comeback.

Apple, one of the world’s most valuable companies, has experienced setbacks and constraints throughout its history. In the late 1990s, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. However, under Steve Jobs’s leadership, Apple demonstrated resilience by refocusing on a few core products, such as the iMac, and later, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Apple’s resilience helped it become a dominant player in the technology industry.

Airbnb: Flipping Housing Constraints into a Sharing Economy Platform.

Airbnb was born out of a roadblock faced by its founders, who struggled to afford rent in San Francisco. Rather than thinking of themselves as victims, they turned this challenge into an opportunity by creating a platform that allowed people to rent out their spare rooms or homes to travelers. This innovative idea led to the birth of the sharing economy and transformed the way people travel and find accommodations.


Gary Harpst

Gary Harpst is author of “Built to Beat Chaos: Biblical Wisdom for Leading Yourself and Others“. He is the founder and CEO of LeadFirst. LeadFirst was founded in 2000 (as Six Disciplines) with a mission of building effective leaders and helping small and mid-size companies manage change, grow, and execute. Gary is a keynote speaker, writer, and teacher whose areas of focus include leadership, business, and the integration of faith at work.


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