Unicorns have been created through business model innovation. The key success was being able to disrupt the existing market space, or by creating a new niche market that is totally unconventional.
Digital disruption is not new, it dates back as early as 1994 when eCommerce was made popular by Amazon in 1994, eBay in 1995, and Alibaba in 1999.
In just a span of a few years, with increasing internet speeds globally, more disruptive platforms were made possible. Friendster was the first founded in 2002 and was the most popular social media platform, followed by the birth of Skype in 2003, Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Airbnb in 2008, Uber and Whatsapp in 2009 and finally, Instagram in 2010.
Of course, there are many more companies that followed and caught up the disruption trend in the recent years like Foodpanda, and snapchat.
Friendster however, did not last as they did not have a sustainable strategy and revenue model.
How vulnerable is your business?
Renovate before you innovate. – check your business model, get it fixed before jumping on the bandwagon. Being a copycat doesn’t make you successful if you are not adding or creating value. One of the most tested strategic tool such as Porter’s Five Forces Model, remains relevant and practical even in current times.Keeping in mind that competitive dynamics have changed and will continue to evolve due to the transformative power of technology and the internet.
If you already have a competitive advantage and a sound business model, you are ready to innovate your business and disrupt.
Why you need to Transform…
A new McKinsey research published in February 2017 shows that although digital technology propels some companies to be market winners, its impact may deplete corporate earnings and the overall value of an industry. Take for example Uber.
Digital transformation is all about defining value, embracing and exploiting technology and scaling up. Digital disruption alone is not sustainable, whereas digital transformation is. Take for example in Industry 4.0, automation that is reliant on data exchange, lean and on-demand becomes a defacto standard.
The near Future
With IoT, Robotics, AI, Big Data, and VR, digital convergence is taking it to an entirely new level. It will be a lot more obvious when we have a network of driver-less vehicles, robot tutors, robot chefs and your when your smart phone gets even smarter. Digital spaces and platforms will be inter-connected, but many jobs will be cut.
The brutal fact is innovation and digitization will improve productivity and quality, but reduces employment. Machines and AIs will out-perform humans without a doubt, and companies need to re-think on how to manage their liability and legal issues with human resources.
Developing countries with huge population will suffer the most when technology takes over their jobs. Off-shore outsourcing is going to be a sunset industry, as there would not be enough jobs to go around from developed countries.
About the Author
Founder of D3SIGNS PTE LTD, a digital agency.Benjamin Low has 18 years of experience implementing and advising solutions to Global MNCs. Benjamin is an entrepreneur and digital guru who has won several awards, such as the Gold Pencil at OneShow Interactive.He has judged creative competitions at Nanyang Technological University, a business mentor and speaker with Marketing Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and is also currently a mentor with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.Benjamin holds a Multimedia Arts Honors Degree from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, an International Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, an MBA from University of St. Mark and St. John, and is also a Chartered Fellow with the Chartered Management Institute.