Be the first to know about new episodes of The Business Trendsetter Podcast and insights from Spark Partners!

Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The Business Trendsetter Podcast by Spark Partners

Click to Follow The Business Trendsetter Podcast!

Business Trendsetter Podcast - That’s the Day GE Died

Adam Hartung, Manny Teran
GE, General Electric, Edison, Jack Welch, Boston Market, Chipotle, McDonalds, trends, decline, innovation

Listen to the SparkCom Podcast on

spark partners podcastspark partners podcastspark partners podcastspark partners podcastspark partners podcastspark partners podcastspark partners podcast

April 2, 2024 was the day General Electric died.  After 132 years, the behemoth founded on invention and innovation by Thomas Edison is no longer.  How could one of the founding members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffer such a fate?  After all, just 24 years ago GE – led by Jack Welch – was the most admired company in the USA; and one of the most admired globally.

Simultaneously, Boston Market has disappeared.  Down to just 1 store left (in Newark, NJ.) Once a glowing winner in fast casual dining, and owned by the behemoth McDonald’s, how could such a famous brand just disappear when it has so much resource behind it?  McDonald’s spun out Chipotle, which has gone up 70-fold since going it alone 18 years ago, while McDonald’ has only gone up 8 fold while killing Boston Market.

This podcast explains how a focus on earnings, at the expense of revenue generation, doomed both companies.  Trying to defend & extend old businesses, rather than growing new businesses far more on trend, was their demise.  And the same will befall any business, just like these monsters, if you put profit in front of revenue generation.

Thinking Points:

  • Do you put earnings performance or cash flow ahead of revenue when making business decisions?
  • Do you look to improve your performance more by selling more, or cutting costs?
  • Do you think focusing on your core is more important, or bridging into new businesses to find new revenue streams
  • Do you know your customers biggest poorly met needs, or are you too busy trying to keep them buying what you’ve long been selling?