It is useful to understand the history of your industry for three reasons:
- One of the main reasons for studying history in general is, of course, in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. In the words of George Santayana "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
- If you have a sound understanding of the history of your industry, this may help to prevent you from resting on your laurels. Is your SWOT really up to date, or are you making decisions based on strengths which were relevant a decade ago but are no longer so?
- And finally, if you understand where your industry has been and is going, you will be in a better position to identify current events as a continuation of existing trends or as a break from convention which may signal the emergence of a new trend. This may help you to spot new trends more quickly.