Disrupt before you're disrupted
Any one who knows me knows that I am possibly the world's biggest fan of Amazon and Uber. Though they operate in different industries they draw a striking similarity: they are disrupters - and really good ones at that.
" Digital disruption is an effect that changes the fundamental expectations and behaviors in a culture, market, industry or process that is caused by, or expressed through, digital capabilities, channels or assets. "
Digital disruption is not be confused with disruptive technology. Disruptive technology is what displaces established existing technology. Examples of disruptive technology are the personal computer (PC), cell phones, smartphones, laptops and tablets and electric cars. These disruptive technologies create a new market and a new value network.
Digital disruption occurs when innovative ways of thinking challenge existing business models to drive new value for existing and new customers. Digital disruption is therefore a disruptive force of digital technology that are flipping the business models of retail stores, taxi companies and hotel chains on their back, and changing industries and the lives of millions.
Uber is the largest taxi company in the world that owns no taxis. Uber disrupted the taxi industry by offering a unique customer experience that was new to the way consumers ordered taxis. Remember Gartner's definition of Digital disruption, Digital disruption is an effect that changed the fundamental expectations and behaviours in an industry. Uber has created a customer experience that has changed expectations when it comes to hiring a private car to get from A to B. Personally, I now expect to be able to order a taxi from my smartphone, know who's driving me home before I'm picked up and know approximately how much the service will cost and how long it will take before I ride. I also now expect to be able track my service in real time so I know if I have time to make a cup of tea in my warm flat before my ride rather than wait outside in the rain (It's London, it's raining) for my taxi to arrive in the approximate time frame I was given by the operator.
The disruption of Uber to the taxi industry never questioned if taxis are still relevant, it questioned if the customer experience of ordering, riding and paying for a taxi is still relevant. In an ever growing digital, mobile and on-demand world, it wasn't.
Digital disruption to some is scary and to others is exciting. Digital innovation is creating an incredible, accessible, on-demand world that is changing our every day lives.
No one is immune to disruption nor does anyone not have what it takes to respond to disruption or to disrupt themselves. Understand the expectations and behaviours in a culture, market or industry; look at what change can be made through the use of digital technology and focus on driving new value in existing goods and services through more efficient processes and improved customer experience.
There you have it, you're a digital disrupter.