Surviving Big-Bang Disruption
The rules of business are undergoing the process of adaptation of the new innovative ideas & strategies according to the present time. And sometimes you get to experience or see that these new innovative strategies may make your product or service last longer or completely disrupt your entire process. These disruptions do not follow conventional strategic paths or normal patterns of market adoption and can wipe out incumbents in a flash. We call them “big-bang” disrupters.
To survive the disruption, current working team needs to develop new & innovative tools to detect the change; new strategies to slow down disrupters; new ways to leverage existing assets in other markets; and a more diversified approach to investment.
Disruptive innovations have traditionally started out as cheaper and lower in quality than products offered by established incumbents. They gradually improve in quality until they finally dominate the market. Today, digital platforms such as the smartphone are enabling innovations that offer customers both a better experience and a much lower price, right out of the gate—think of free GPS apps versus dedicated GPS devices.
Big-bang disrupters share three defining characteristics: product development that is unencumbered by corporate budgets and rules; growth that is unconstrained by the usual slow-ramping product-adoption curve; and strategy that is “undisciplined.” That is, rather than limiting itself to just one path of either “low cost” or product leadership or customer intimacy, it delivers on all three simultaneously.
Bold strategies are the only way to cope with big-bang disruption. Four approaches that incumbents have used to survive and even thrive are:
• See it coming:
As a business owner, you should be aware & be able to interpret the real meaning behind the seemingly random experiments by finding and listening to visionaries or “truth-tellers” that can predict the future with insight and clarity. A truth-teller may be found within the company, and sometimes but not always from the ranks of senior management—or on the outside in the guise of a customer, supplier or investor. You need new technologies or tools to recognize the radical change which can be on its way & be ready always.
• Slow the disruptive innovation to outdo it:
The best survival strategy may be to ensure that disrupters can’t make money from their inventions until you’re ready to acquire them or you can win with a product of your own. You should be always in quest for opportunities to leverage your assets that are surviving elsewhere.
• Be ready for a fast escape:
To compete with “undisciplined” competitors, you have to be ready to get rid of once-valuable assets. This comes after spending a long time in the research process of understanding the market & the changes that might happen in future.
• Try a new kind of diversification:
Intangibles can be your most valuable assets in this fight against a big-bang disruption—and all that you have left as fit-for-purpose physical assets quickly lose their value.
How do you launch your own innovations?
Make sure future strategies are built on a platform that can easily be extended and experimented with and quickly scaled both up and down. The profitable life of a big-bang disrupter may be short, and you’ll need to be ready with the next one before someone beats you to it.
Big-bang disruption will keep executives in every industry, especially technology- and information-intensive businesses, on their toes. It may be lurking within the failed experiments of many professional services, manufacturing, distribution, and retailing segments; big-bang disruptions in many of these industries may not be far off.
But these disruptions hold immense potential for those who can quickly replace their current business by something more dynamic and unstable but also more profitable.