Remember when the computer replaced the typewriter business? It took awhile for computers to become prevalent, but the speed of change is increasing. New innovations are accelerating the path to obsolescence for some industries. Here are a few examples of current trends are causing industries to vanish.

Paper Maps Folding Into GPS
Global positioning systems (GPS) are popular gadgets for drivers, pilots, hikers, boaters and anyone else attempting to find their way. Personal navigation devices (PNDs) have become so common, rental car companies make them available for rent with their cars. Instead of attempting to follow tiny lines on an ever-folded page, you simply click on your desired destination and the PND feeds you verbal instructions guiding your every turn.

Leading manufacturer Garmin designs, builds and sells cutting edge GPS systems to a wide variety of commercial and consumer markets. Their new offerings include translating old paper maps into new PND maps. Those crusty old paper road maps are now collecting dust in glove compartments. The latest trend is sending travel directions to your cell phone, so there's no need for an extra device. (Predicting how the world will evolve can help you build a portfolio that can roll with the punches. Check out Megatrends For Maximum Profits.)

Internet Publications Rewriting Printed Media
The internet's 24-hour availability and instant update capability is forcing the print media industry to join the rest of the world on the web. Printed newspapers and magazines are feeling the pinch from dwindling subscriptions and advertising because their readers are switching to the internet for news and information.

Many traditional printed publications are evolving with the new trend, providing their content in digital formats and taking advantage of online audio and video. Remaining printed publications are dotted with online website and email references.

Ebook Readers Scrolling Paper Books
Contrary to doomsday myths about the demise of reading, books are still hot, they are just changing formats. New ebook reader devices are all the rage. Book connoisseurs appreciate the ability to store multiple books on a single device and upload new ones. You can loan eBooks to friends and read some eBooks for free.

Retail bookseller Barnes and Noble's new eBook reader, Nook, sold out before the holiday season started. Amazon.com reports selling 500,000 of its Kindle book readers during its first year on the market (the company's best selling product). Electronics companies like Sony and Samsung have now joined the fray. Even public libraries are making digital books available for "check-out" via their websites.

Some ebook devices have touch screens and wireless service, which remind readers they could just download ebooks to their phones (the next book trend). (Pioneering is never easy, but it has its exciting - and worthwhile - moments for investors. Don't miss Forging Frontier Markets.)

Greeting Cards Folding to E-Greetings
If you've ever sent electronic greeting cards or e-invitations, you know how easy it is. Since email has become a staple for many, sending paper greeting cards and invitations seems archaic. Why write or print address labels and pay for postage, when you can simply upload your email distribution list and click to send?

Some services offer confirmation notices when your greeting has been viewed. Traditional greeting card companies Hallmark and American Greetings and e-invitation websites such as Evite.com offer a plethora of choices with music and animation that say everything from "get well soon" to "save our wedding date." Other websites allow users to send free messages.

Just about any email site can offer the service, so actually receiving paper cards in the mail has become even more special. (Using the same strategy year after year may be comfortable, but it's not always profitable. Learn more in Investing "Road Less Traveled" May Lead To Riches.)

The Bottom Line
There's no turning back new innovations that make life easier and more interesting. Old school industries with the vision to adapt and capitalize on trends will survive, but the stagnant will surely die.

Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    The Latest Airbag Recalls: What to Do

    The latest warnings are from Honda/Acura and Dodge. How to look up your car – and what to do if you find it on the recall list.
  2. Economics

    What is a Complement?

    A good or service that’s used in conjunction with another good or service is a complement.
  3. Investing News

    Super Savings for Your Super Bowl Party? Bet on It

    Prices for wings, avocados and TVs are all coming down, which will make your Super Bowl 50 festivities less costly.
  4. Retirement

    Ipsy Review: Is It Worth It?

    Discover the history of ipsy, how much packages cost, options available for membership, major competition and what the future looks like for the company.
  5. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Johnson & Johnson Stock (JNJ)

    Learn the largest risks to investing in Johnson & Johnson through fundamental analysis and other potential risks. Also discover how JNJ compares to its peers.
  6. Budgeting

    Craft Coffee Review: Is It Worth It?

    Learn more about one of the first and most flexible specialty-grade coffee subscription services on the market, a perfect fit for any coffee lover.
  7. Budgeting

    Plated Review, Is It Worth It?

    Take a closer look at the ready-to-cook meal service, Plated, and learn how the company can help you take the hassle out of home cooking.
  8. Investing

    Barbie's Body Wasn't the Problem (opinion)

    Barbie's body type wasn't what killed sales, argues Angela Travillian. Other factors were at play.
  9. Stock Analysis

    Financing iPhones: The Next Apple Move (AAPL)

    Look at how Apple's plan to finance the purchase of new unlocked iPhones will impact choices of carriers as well as profits for both Apple and the carriers.
  10. Stock Analysis

    From Shampoo to Soup, Unilever Has it Covered (UL)

    Open your fridge, your pantry, your bathroom cabinet and you'll find the Unilever logo. Here's how the company got so enormous.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) affect my salary?

    Some companies build salary adjustments into their compensation structures to offset the effects of inflation on their employees. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Where can you buy NetSpend reload packs?

    You can only purchase NetSpend reload packs at Giant Eagle, Albertsons, Roundy's and Pathmark supermarkets. NetSpend cards ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What role does the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) play in the finished product?

    Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) do not typically play much of direct role in determining the finished product. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  2. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  3. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  4. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  5. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  6. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
Trading Center