Making Disruption A Business Strategy

What do many of today’s leading technology companies have in common?  They are constantly innovating, and in many cases, disrupting their markets.  In fact, I attended a forum of business leaders and successful entrepreneurs at the end of 2015, where it was noted by leading CEO’s that DISRUPTION was to be the coined phrase for 2016 across all businesses.  Indeed, it has become a mandate to create something totally “new,” every few months.  Great companies are routinely directed to disrupt their technology, business processes, their departments, etc.  It is rooted in the belief that such disruption breeds curiosity within the organization.  Disruption becomes, quite simply, their business strategy.  The old adage of “don’t fix it, if it’s not broken,” used to be the words to live by. Now, the new model is to always disrupt yourself, or run the risk of being disrupted.

In leading a SaaS technology firm, I can honestly say that we are always creating something “new” – something “new” for our clients, something “new” to continue the conversation with prospects, something entirely “new” for our mobile learning platform, as well as something “new” for our team.  You may suggest that our culture is certainly disruptive, as we are always seeking to innovate.  At the same time, there is a collaborative spirit across the organization that feeds curiosity and disruption.  The current market’s pervasive interest in mobile technology only further contributes to our disruption and our inspiration.

Meanwhile, technology moves fast. It has always been my imperative to keep creating, to keep disrupting.  Look at the 3 A’s – Amazon, Apple & now Google’s Alphabet – always reinventing themselves, or bringing a new product to the consumer.

You also constantly hear that mobile is moving the quickest and being the most disruptive.  Mobile-First companies are constantly being referenced.  Is there a day that goes by that you don’t hear about Uber, AirBnB SnapChat, among others?  Most of the hottest companies with the fastest adoption rates by consumers are fueled by Mobile.  There are also the ones that are reshaping their markets; for example, Robinhood (a mobile-only stock trading firm with zero fees) is a Mobile-First platform – and a disrupter.

Scrimmage is doing the same thing for learning.  Wherever you are in the world, you can now access relevant, educational content on any mobile device, through our platform.  Leading companies see how this enhances both the employee and the customer experience.

The outlook and the landscape for technology, including mobile, certainly breeds curiosity – look at the breadth of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) , Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR).  To embrace disruption and innovation in a company is a great thing.  However, to embrace it with a collaborative spirit and ideas from all areas of the business is even more compelling and more powerful.  After all, it may lead to not only disrupting your company’s technology, but also your marketplace.  

Disruption To Induction

In less than two years since this article was written, the role of disruption is clearly evident that it has had and is having on people’s lives. It has brought profound changes that are taking place across global society, both in the workplace and our personal lives.  Of the companies that I cited, it is amazing, even educational, to look at the impact and disruption that has taken place, along with the seeds that are being planted for a new chapter.

  • Amazon: the mainstream adoption of Alexa and VOICE computing; the emergence of drone delivery; an acquisition of Whole Foods; an entry and/or market penetration into the Entertainment, Healthcare and Financial Services industries. As a result, it’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, is now the world’s richest man.
  • Apple: built an integrated stack of consumer-beloved products, including iPhoneX, AirPods, HomePods, and Apple Watch. Most importantly, they are a leader in the underlying technologies highlighted from years ago, including VR/AR/MR, IoT and AI. https://www.fastcompany.com/40525409/why-apple-is-the-worlds-most-innovative-company
  • Alphabet: Google has literally created 26 subsidiaries in order to exponentially innovate and transform industries. Learn More: http://www.businessinsider.com/alphabet-google-company-list-2017-4
  • Robinhood: now trading cryptocurrencies, as well as traditional investment products and valued at $5B. https://www.coinspeaker.com/2018/04/03/online-brokerage-robinhood-financial-launches-crypto-trading-free-commission-4-states/
  • AirBnB: now set to enter the hotel market and is already adopted as a global mainstream service for accommodations and communities.
  • Uber: facing major resistance, regulation and upheaval after a variety of scandals. But, the momentum has only shifted to Lyft – also in this arena 2 years ago.
  • SnapChat –has lost major enterprise value, as Facebook and others have continued to innovate; however, there is a firestorm currently underway affecting all social networks due to their use/misuse of personal data and major security breaches.

Disruption is the new normal and expectation in our society.  In fact, change may be too simple of a word to describe our societal evolution. We are exponentially changing.  We are INDUCING a new reality.  One just has to look at the effects in the global political system.  The rise and advancement of social movements affecting equality and civil rights, the simultaneous engagement and disengagement of people taking place in our communities are prime examples of a new societal evolution.

If you watch the media, you are convinced we are careening off a cliff.  However, as entrepreneurs and business leaders, we know a different truth.  This is the most exciting time to be alive!  Never before has it been easier to create, communicate, as well as build products, companies and networks, than today.  The ability to build a billion dollar business in value, while positively impact billions of people is constantly manifesting itself.

In the years ahead, we have the possibility and likelihood to see the rise of driverless cars, private space travel + colonization, globally-connected transportation systems, energy independence, cures for chronic diseases, personalized medicine, deliberate mortality and immortality, hyper-digital economies, mass entrepreneurship and much, much more.  Truthfully, the opportunities for creation and collaboration are almost infinite.  I’m excited to lead with and join all of you on this journey called LIFE.