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American Express predicts online hurricane to blow big business away

30 May 2012
Hurricane Irene

Increased growth and innovation in e-commerce is a major threat that will blow away any company unable to adapt, American Express's group president has warned today.

Dan Schulman claimed that the online market "is like a hurricane" redefining the landscape companies are operating in, during a keynote speech at London's Open Mobile Summit.

"All of us, everyone in this room, all our business models are threatened. I don't care where you stand in the ecosystem, you're under threat. Those of us in larger companies need to adapt," he said.

Schulman claimed that the trend is the latest shift in a cyclical process industry regularly goes through.

"This happens time and time again. Remember the early leaders of the PC revolution? Remember the leaders of the search revolution? Remember the leaders of social? Of them, one company after another failed," said Schulman.

The Amex president cited the early adopters' inability to create new products and strategies as a key reason for their failure.

"Companies desperately try to repeat what made them big when they come under threat. That's fine when things aren't changing, but now repeating doesn't work. In my view, past success impedes future success," Schulman said.

He highlighted smartphone manufacturers as particularly vulnerable to these cyclical changes.

"Maybe two or three smartphone manufacturers are making money. Samsung, Apple and maybe HTC," said Schulman.

The Amex comments follow research from Gartner revealing an unexpected dip in smartphone sales during the first quarter of 2012.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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