Welcome to the second in our “Weapons of Mass Disruption” series. In the first article, we considered 5 models of disruption and laid out the reasons why an industry might be disrupted. Now we look at some of the major Disruption Tools and propose a simple framework to develop or identify disruptive business models.
Not wishing to repeat all the findings (you can read it at “Weapons of Mass Disruption”), I would like to mention three key points we made (beyond the models themselves) which are pertinent to this article. They are:
- Disruption is always customer driven - at least to a large extent. If potential customers were satisfied with their existing service it would be hard to disrupt a sector. The customer drivers were mentioned in the previous article.
- Disruption is a process not an event. We don’t just wake up and suddenly find ourselves displaced, even though it may feel like it to some. The signals will have been around for a long time.
- Although technology is a frequent catalyst, it is almost always the business model that evolves because of the technology that is the disruptive force.
The five models described previously were:
Weapons of mass disruption
“Disruption” is the buzzword at the moment, whether you are coding in a startup hackathon or attending a board meeting at a FTSE 100 Company.
The concept has been around for a while and started gaining popularity after Clayton Christensen wrote his first book (in 1997): The Innovator’s Dilemma, where he coined the phrase “Disruptive Innovation”. However, the volume and pace of disruption has increased since then, spurred on by new technology.
For the purpose of this article, I define industry disruption as:
“an industry or sector that is undergoing massive change, where the rules of how to best serve customers profitably are being fundamentally rewritten”.
The cause of such disruption generally stems from a new technology. It is however important to note that it is not the technology itself that is inherently disruptive, it is rather the new business models that are enabled by the technology that cause the disruption. For instance, the underlying technology platform of Uber is not disruptive per se, it is how the platform is used to recruit and match drivers with passengers that make it disruptive.
Hackathons (see definition below) were once seen as the preserve of hooded coders developing some new app in a matter of days or hours. However, the word is now used in a much broader sense and the corporate world have begun to pick up on this concept too.
Breakthroughs in self-driving cars are only the beginning: The entire way we travel from point A to point B is changing, creating a new ecosystem of personal mobility. The shift will likely affect far more than automakers—industries from insurance and health care to energy and media should reconsider how they create value in this emerging environment