I bet you don’t know the significance of April 11th.

April 11th is a memorial to an artifact of history.

April 11th is a yearly reminder of the inevitability of technological disruption.

April 11th is National 8-Track Tape Day.

8-track tapes were the way to listen to music in 1960s, 70s and 80s. If you haven’t seen one, let me tell you: They were bulky and broke easily. You couldn’t rewind an 8-track. Songs would pause for several seconds as the track changed to the next one. Yet, despite their clunkiness and inconvenience, millions of Americans had them.

Of course, no one listens to music that way anymore. Any working 8-track tape players are either in a museum, at an antique store, or hidden away in an attic or closet.

The 8-track was replaced by the cassette tape, which was replaced by the CD, which was replaced by iTunes and the iPod, which was replaced by the smartphone and streaming. You can bet there will be more changes in how we listen to music in the future.

We all can name companies like Blockbuster Video, Polaroid, Toys R Us, Borders bookstores, Kodak, Tower Records, and other past successful businesses that are no longer in operation today. In fact, 88% of the Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1955 have gone out of business. This is the path of creative destruction: newer, better products always replace older, less effective ones. Of course, there are plenty of those who use or collect older products out of nostalgia.

But no business can count on nostalgia keeping them afloat.

What worked yesterday won’t work forever. The Columbia Tape and Record Club made a lot of money years ago. Now they are bankrupt and closed.

Is your company pausing to consider the changes in your market? Are you considering how to adapt to those changes?

If not, a national remembrance day might be in your company’s future.

April 11th is the only thing left of the 8-track tape. Remember April 11th.

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