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Legacy companies will face increasing difficulty in choosing to invest in the future while paying dividends or advancing bureaucratic infrastructure because these are competing, cash-consuming aspects of the business.

If legacy companies attempt to have it both ways, they run the risk of ending up like Sears, JC Penny, Digital Equipment Company, Circuit City, Compaq, Macy’s, Eastern Airlines, Nordstrom, and, perhaps someday, Walmart.

What both today’s big names and smaller companies (which are most of us) need is disruptive change...