Divorcing a business idea can be an extremely difficult thing to do.
Even for mature, successful companies such as Coca-Cola. Let’s for a minute go all the way back to April of 1985, when Coca-Cola introduced New Coke. This was not a good idea, but it took Coca-Cola a little while to realize that they needed to divorce it.
And even Coca-Cola didn’t do it without some outside help. After being flooded with thousands of phone calls, 40,000 plus letters and reams of bad press, the company finally backtracked three months later announcing the return of Coca-Cola “Classic”.
Earlier today (May 21, 2011) I read an interesting article in the Globe and Mail titled The cars that almost broke BMW, which reminded me of the story about New Coke. The moral of both stories is that divorcing certain business ideas is about saving your assets, not destroying them.
My 2¢: Divorcing a business idea can be an extremely difficult and emotional thing to do in the short-run. But in the long-run, as we can see from the above examples (Coca Cola & BMW), divorcing a business idea can be just an event in the life of a business—it does not need to define it.