Is It Really Worth It to Disrupt?

Updated: Jan 20

Startups are disrupting the market faster than ever. Digital forces are coming from each side of the market; All of these forces are making dramatic changes in the market positioning and brand of an organization and guess what happens if your company does not respond fast enough? You die.




Startups are disrupting the market faster than ever. Digital forces are coming from each side of the market; customer demands for fully integrated digital services and products, partners that are trying to reinvent themselves, direct competitors that are realigning their messaging and strategy, indirect companies that are expanding their footprint into other industries and targeting new segments which traditionally they always avoid.

All of these forces are making dramatic changes in the market positioning and brand of an organization and guess what happens if your company does not respond fast enough? You die.

You grow or die.

Frank Knight, Nike's founder said it well: "You grow or die." In his book, Shoe Dog which is his biography, he explains how he could manage to double his sales revenue each year and how he struggled with the growth challenges in early days of Nike. Guess what happened if he was not making all those changes? There was no Nike. As a matter of fact, there was no brand to change people's lives and bring running as a healthy activity to the mass market. The world was different.

Technology is another force that is evolving very fast and now we can think of all those unthinkable applications and use cases that seemed impossible in the past. Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics, Blockchain and Business Intelligence are enabling us to rethink all the tasks that we have done in a different way. This means now customers have even more demands.

Internet of Things (IoT): Asset Tracking is one the huge markets that IoT is dominating. With the deployment of sensors and gateways, now you can monitor all your physical assets (transportation, agriculture, factories, cities, healthcare and hospitals) with a high accuracy and then using business intelligence tools start to monitor your assets from the revenue perspective. Meaning, which asset is more utilized and which one are less. Which one is making more sense from commercial perspective and how to adjust the operations in a way that all your assets are pariticipating in influencing revenue.

Blockchain: As the underlying technology for cryptocurrency, Blockchain and smart contracts can shift the relationship between organizations to the next level. The processes that can be automated can be very complex and smart contract can run these processes without the need for human interaction. This will improve efficiency and productivity dramatically and will eliminate human error factor as well.

Big Data: Data is becoming the most important asset of every business. Businesses want to know how their users are behaving and what that means for the business. How business can harness through tera bytes of information and start to predict what to do better and even what not to do in the future to generate more business.

In addition, business model shifts towards innovative approaches and legacy ways of charging customers may not work anymore. People are demanding for monthly billing instead of big upfront purchases, liquid licensing with no capping, usage based and sharing resources.

For all the companies that disrupt the way they traditionally work, there is a good sign; revenue growth. Yes, change is rough and it will cause hurdles in the normal day to day operations of the business. Plus, you need to get the buy in of every single person in your organization so they can drive the change quicker and make an impact. And then you have the resistance from lot of stakeholders simply because they cannot adapt to the new way of doing things. So there will be times that you as a leader must make hard decisions to be able to move the organization forward.

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© 2020 by Houman Asefi