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The rise and demise of industries: To whom is industry performance information useful and what can they accomplish with it?

A new industry is usually formed on the basis of a new idea, product or service. It has the potential for rapid growth, but often grows slowly due to the lack of support.

What would you do with this information? How would it affect your decisions?

From your choice of work to your choices for your children.

What if you worked in an industry that was deemed by most to be in its demise?

I expect your answers to be imaginative, but I would also like them to derive from personal experience or the experiences of someone you know.

The question is fairly vague, mostly because I do not want to narrow your responses.

Thank you for your input :-)

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    Nov 6 2013: Industrial performance by segmentation is relevant as it gives a broad idea of the socio-economic status and trends within a society. The ups and downs as a cyclical data of segments reveals the current state of an economy in immediate time period like last quarter or year. Data from more than one in a segment would show the decline and rise in the segment. With disparity and diversity becoming the principal profile of growing urban cities, demographic data on age, sex, occupation and education is required to get a clearer picture and plan markets. Generalization by averaging statistics mathematically (like per capita income, or per capita power energy consumption) does not reveal true realties or trends. With uncertainty and complexity becoming the norm, the ability of past data to forecast the future is eroding. The study of data is thus increasingly focused on analytics which look at mass data, but not to find opportunities from the behavior of the majority, but to try to locate early trends from smaller groups that represent change.
    • Nov 6 2013: Thanks Uday.

      When you say 'locate early trends from smaller groups that represent change', could you give me an example of a demographic or group within an industry who's activities could represent change more than another group within the same industry?
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        Nov 6 2013: When buying of a product or usage of a service suddenly starts to show a new demographic which could could be a new age group, or a hidden income group from a new geography that starts to show as a recurring customer. This allows for a study that reveals a trend, or because of a certain new infrastructure that brings in a new potential segment of customer. (In India it could be a new road, or broadband availability, an un-interrupted supply of power creates a surge of buying, and even google mapping reveals new identities)
        An existing "non user" (a term coined and defined by Prof Clayton Christensen in his first book on Disruptive Innovation) A hidden potential is identified from information attributed to a new infrastructure. One could associate or map the sales of smart phones and tablets based almost entirely on the proliferation of wireless. In India power availability of more than 12 hours a day creates a demand for a refrigerator. Income is not necessarily the cliche criteria.
        • Nov 6 2013: Thanks Uday,

          I will have to read Prof Clayton Christensen work.
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    Nov 5 2013: As you write, you pose your question in a way that makes it hard to know how to be most useful.

    Governments for decades have collected information projecting the likely employment opportunities in various industries and types of work. This sort of information may be useful to institutions offering training programs to prepare students for areas of need. Such information also influences the areas in which young people choose to prepare themselves- now most popularly computers and business administration as focuses in higher education and a shift out of humanities toward science and tech.

    Local governments may use forecasts by industry to predict revenues into the future, which in turn may affect local expenditures.

    Business may be interested in the health of particular industries in a geographic location as part of their location decisions. College and high school graduates may also move to locations where the industries which they care about are not on the decline.

    People who work in declining industries may make different choices depending on how old they are. Those near retirement may "ride out" the remaining years. Those with more of a career ahead may either engage in extra training to facilitate career shifts or become entrepreneurial about revitalizing the enterprise of which they are a part, if the later seems a reasonable possibility.

    The unpredictability of the rise or fall of many industries should convince people of the importance beginning in school years of educating oneself for flexibility and adaptability with skills that can be taken in multiple directions over the course of a career.
    • Nov 6 2013: You were helpful, despite my vaguely worded question.
  • Nov 10 2013: You forgot timing - you need to time the market and need for the product. Too soon, you run out of money before the market is there, too late and the competition can be intense, especially if the marketplace has attracted the big companies in that space.