By Clever Mavanza
When you have catched fish you better rush to fry because if you wait till tomorrow it will rot-
When we finished tertiary education at Speciss College in 2011, we carried out research to determine trends that occur in the markertplace. By then i was working in the retail industry.We could predict with utmost accuracy what would happen because marketing involves anticipating customer needs and industry dynamics.
What causes market metamorphosis?
Innovative disruption can be defined as changes that take place as a result of inventions of products or services which cannibalize the bread and butter of established markets. Gone are the days when you fight wars using spears. That is what innovative disruption is all about. They completely alter existing business models. Consider Uber, it does not own taxes. Amazon is an online retail giant.
How can you tell if a product or service has potential to eliminate big players?
The net effect of disruption is transfer of value from established businesses. Imagine what happened to big chain stores when Amazon or Alibaba was launched? Size has now become a historical factor. The world belongs to those who puts the agenda of change in the front. You need to have a thorough understanding of business models. Steve Jobs once said ,’for you to predict trends you need to connect the dots backwards. ‘There was a time we had cassettes.
Then we shifted to compact discs. Eventually we found ourselves in the i-pod world. The best antidote is to claim value from innovations of other industries. Facebook came and disrupted the advertising industries and how billions of people interact. There was a time when print was making a lot of money. Now we have gone paperless- eliminating those who depended on shipping. Anyone can order products in the comfort of their homes. In a matter of minutes you would have downloaded books of your choice.
How do you deal with disruption
A group of people were living on land. However because of circumstances beyond their control ,they were forced to migrate to go and search for a habitable land. The problem was there was only one person who had learned how to sail and swim. This is the paradox most companies and individual face. Your survival is dependent on ability to bypass challenges presented in the business world. Delay to change and you eventually become extinct. Know the architecture of your industry. Try to identify loopholes in current business models.
Try to predict what might be the next hit. When Facebook was launched ,it did not have the features it has now. There was constant improvement. A few years later Twitter and You Tube came into play. Facebook had no choice but to buy out these small platforms because they will be taking market share. We had a disscussion with a friend who was talking about Tik-tok.
What would happen if large groups of people migrate leaving existing platforms? We now leave in a world of inforbesity, where there is fast cross pollination of ideas. This poses a threat to some who do coaching. They cannot realise the value they have invested as a result of fluid movement of information. ‘If the rate of change outside a system or an individual is faster than the change inside ,the end is near. This applies to business and life. You need to be afloat and plan to be above water.
How do you deal with disruption?
The best thing an entreprenuer needs to do is to fail fast .This gives him or her time to start again. There is nothing worse than dwelling on a bad business idea. It is very important to check if your idea has an opportunity. If not stop immediately. When you are bleeding you do not cut yourself ,you bandage. When you realise you have fallen into a pit, you stop digging.
You need to reinvent yourself, your organisation your profession. You need to leap frog from one point to another. For instance, some people do not consider public speaking as a valuable skill because they do understand its power. The best way then is to shift into sales training. Every company wants great sales people because nothing happens unless a sale has been made.
The essence of innovative disruption is adaptation. It begins facing brutal realities of how you are operating as an organisation. Is it the case of falling behind times. Speed can only be neutralised with speed. When retailers realise potential disruption the best way is to move on the offensive. No complaining but campaigning for success. Most companies do not realise that the more the attain success the higher the price they have to pay to stay at the top. The future belongs to those who are fluid as water which takes shape of its container or environment.
First things first
The first lesson one must learn is self destruction. It begins by soul searching and introspection. Why are we doing what we are doing? Is there no room for improvement? Can’t we see this problem from different angles. This may require a creative team. You must develop a mentality of planned obsolency. If you are selling a product or service, intend to get rid of in six months ,one year or two years.
This mentally prepares you against industrial shocks that will inevitably occur. Before the devastating effects of corona virus ,some companies never thought of creating up to date customer data bases. When the locked down came, connection was lost live ready .Do not prepare for life. Four years ago i saw a video of a professor who had made some digital products.
One of them being robodoc -an app that tell you about health solutions. Imagine what damage it does to doctors. Not to mention those who are building career capital in the medical field. Secondly there is robolawyer – it tells you about laws that govern states in any language. We need lawyers but what is technology planning to do? When we were doing secondary school ,we learned how to do cash books, journals ,trial balance and balance sheet. Now sage system does all that automatically. If Africa is to go forward ,we need to redefine the term education. Lest we are left beatifully equipped for a world that no longer exist.
When a big organisation has invaded the education system,that is a light bulb moment to those in that respective industry.Train yourself to survive in the future.
Keys to innovative disruption
Disruption occurs in two phases. There are products which completely alters business systems. Such products qualify to fall into the disruption category. The second class are products which have potential to disrupt industries. Apple ,Amazon are examples of innovative disrupition. When there is no dependence of normal distripution channel ,you have won the game.
There is need to make sure that there are no weaknesses in the value chain process that can be affected by innovative disruption. I read a very good book years back written by Author Marara. There is a particular passage which he stated that airtime vendors will be in trouble soon.By then we were watching things happen but that when i caught the fire of innovative disruption.Another important factor to consider is to be a proponent of change.You have to change before you have to.Change is a never ending cycle in business and life.Sense where the tides are going.
How market leaders disrupt markets and products
Before you know how to make your business disruptive ,you need to assess its potential in altering established system.A buffalo cannot outrun a cheetah.Products and services need not only to be faster but create potential not just for sustainance but for dormination in the marketplace.
There are sequential stages an organisation follows to start the disruption process. The most important variable to be taken into account is the core function of the product. Customers do not buy drills, they buy the solution-its the hole they want not the drilling machine. When a product or service that has the same functions to those of current products and charges a lower price, then the process has just begun. We no longer need cameras. Why? Because mobile phones have integrated all features we need. Mobile phones are now the new Tv ‘s.
Thank you for taking your time to read this article.
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