David Robertson, a former Lego professor of innovation at Switzerland’s Institute for Management Development, says such criticisms are unfair. “If Lego was still marketing sets the way it used to, it’d be out of business.”
In his book Brick by Brick, he details the company’s fear in the late 90s that Lego would soon be obsolete. The patents were out of date and a new approach was needed. Instead, the company focused on stories, which in practice meant tie-ins like Star Wars and Harry Potter.