Disrupt or Die

May 2, 2017

 

I believe we have reached a point in time where the old adage of "adapt or die" is no longer enough to keep some businesses and industries relevant.

 

The fact is this. Technology is moving so fast that many businesses can no longer keep up with consumer expectations. 

 

There are a number of reasons for this.

 

1. Boards / senior management are resistant to change.

2. Boards / senior management don't believe change is warranted and everything is going great. Head in the sand mindset.

3. The financial resources to plan or investigate disruptive models is not available.

 

It is just a matter of time before these companies stuck in an old school/head in the sand mindset, are eaten by the young startups/entrepreneurs who live for change, and where every waking moment is spent thinking of ways to do things better, faster and more efficiently.

 

Movie Hire Industry 

 

If we think about the humble video and DVD store. 30 years ago video hire was at its peak. Blockbuster in the USA and United Video in New Zealand chose to update their videos to DVD's and then to the Blu-ray format. Consumers could come into the store and select their preferred movie format. They moved with the times.  Blockbuster owned 6,000+ stores in the USA and their business model was running well.  But...enter Netflix.

 

Netflix took this a step further and began with a website where consumers could choose their DVD or Blu-ray movie and these would be couriered direct to their home. In 2007 Netflix changed their business model and added online streaming of movies and TV shows as a service. Apple TV was also released in 2007 adding the streaming movie business model as a vertical market. Great concept and proved to be a winner. Sadly for Blockbuster they went bankrupt in 2010, still stuck with a dying business model.  In fairness to Blockbuster, they did try the courier DVD's to home model, but that wasn't enough to save them and let's be honest, that model was always going to be surpassed by streaming content.

 

 

Other Disrupted Industries

 

There are many that spring to mind and I could create a massive list, but here are a few of the well known companies and the industries they have disrupted.

 

Amazon - Book Stores

Amazon Web Services - Physical onsite server hosting

Amazon Go - Currently trying to disrupt grocery stores

Apple iTunes - Music Stores

Apple Watch - Analog / Digital Watches

eBay - Second Hand Stores / Pawn shops

SolarCity - Utility Providers of Electricity 

SpaceX - Space Exploration and in particular Reusable Rockets

Tesla - Fossil Fueled Vehicles

Uber - Taxi / Cab's

Uber (Otto - Self-driving truck) - Trucking

 

 

Embrace The Future

 

The smart businesses know that change must be embraced and many I have spoken to have set aside 1 or 2 team members whose job is to think of ways to disrupt their company business  model. This way of thinking spawns innovation and a mindset of constant change and improvement. As a futurist speaker and consultant, these companies are my favorite to work with, as the energy generated is infectious and the advancements in technology can be staggering. I'm working with 3 awesome startups at the moment and all of these companies focus on disruptive technology. Game on!

 

 

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Wills Digital is based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch is fondly referred to as the Silicon Valley of New Zealand with many exceptionally gifted inventors and entrepreneurs. Both Jason and Lauren are available to fly anywhere in the world to coach and present.

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