Every market for a product or service goes through a sequence of stages as it emerges, grows, matures and then dies. It doesn’t matter how attached you are to your old vinyl LPs, or your VHS video tapes, or your NLP techniques, their life must come to an end.

First of all, we see the ‘early adopter’ stage. People will buy it because it’s new and different, and they’ll buy it at a premium. DVD players cost over £1,000 when they first came onto the market.

Next, the market matures and we see the ‘mass market’ stage. DVD players fell to around £250 for a good machine, and the market fragmented into ‘budget’, ‘mid-market’ and ‘high end players’, targeting buyers who just wanted a cheap DVD player, or a good brand that they trusted, or a niche, high end player to fit in with their expensive home cinema system. In a mature market, people buy a DVD player because it’s what other people buy. It’s what the shops sell. It’s what the TV tells them to buy.

Next, the market declines as sales reach saturation point. The manufacturers are no longer selling to people who don’t have DVD players, they’re selling to people who are upgrading, or replacing an old machine, or buying one for the kids’ bedroom. Sales decline, so to sustain profits, manufacturers look to push down manufacturing costs and we see prices fall dramatically so that people can afford to buy one for every bedroom, and the kitchen, and the dog’s kennel, and the car.

Falling prices, production costs and quality push the market into the ‘late adopter’ stage. People buy DVD players because they no longer have a choice. Their VHS tapes are all worn out, their friends wedding videos are on DVD and they like the high quality of films they watch at their kids’ houses.

What comes after late adopter? The market is now in sharp decline and reaches the commodity stage. You can now buy a DVD player for less than a DVD. They are becoming disposable. NLP Birmingham are being replaced by Blu-Ray players, and players integrated into other things like games consoles. Hard disc recorders, downloadable media and networked hard drives all do the job that DVD players did, but better.

After commodity comes death. The only place you’ll find DVD players soon is car boot sales and museums.

It’s hard to accept the death of a market, because in my lifetime, I saw the rise of CDs, DVDs, mp3s, APS and digital cameras, microwave ovens and a whole host of other innovative products that changed our lives. It’s hard to accept that these markets are in decline because I have personally invested so much in them. Not to mention the fact that, if CDs and DVDs are dead, I must be getting old. Very old.

I first encountered NLP in 1993 when it was in its mass market stage. Paul McKenna was training 400 people in one sitting. NLP was advertised, hyped and embraced by anyone who thought they needed something, but weren’t quite sure what.

Just as the NLP market slipped into the late adopter phase, something came along and killed it. In fact, two things.

The NLP market was in a decline because the market was reaching saturation point. Once you’ve sold someone a NLP Practitioner course, there’s not much else to sell them. NLP Master Practitioner? The political infighting amongst pseudo-certification bodies stripped Master Practitioner of any value by failing to apply consistent standards across the industry. Trainer? A very limited market.

One way that trainers solved this problem is by doing exactly what the DVD manufacturers did. They pushed down production costs to maintain profits. NLP trainers looked for ways to make money from books, CDs, e-courses, mega-fantastic language sets, workbooks, DVDs, playing cards and whatever else they could think of to brand as a NLP product. From a single trainer’s point of view, it’s the goose that lays the golden egg – passive income. Customers all over the world buying your information products while you’re asleep.