Like it, love it or loathe it, technology affects us all every day. Disruptive Innovation has been changing businesses and the way that we do things for years. Wikipedia killed off traditional encyclopedias, (my parents still have our old children’s Britannica). Rail and Lorries killed off canal boats. More recently, LED technology is making a huge impact and savings over old style bulbs.
What does this mean to us as consumers and in business?
For me it’s about staying on the edge of the wave. Knowing what is next and how we can help our customers. The companies that are used currently as the best examples of this are UBER and Airbnb.
I was in London the other day and needed to cross Hyde park after an event. It was pouring with rain, so I stood in the dry, opened up my Uber App and clicked on the button to order a car. The app told me that George would be 3 minutes and I could see him on the map driving towards me. As I stood under cover there was a chap on the pavement edge getting soaked by the rain and every passing car. He was trying to hail a black cab with little success.
George arrived and his picture matched the app, his car type and registration, so I ran over and jumped in. The soaked man managed to get a black cab at the same time. We were heading in the same direction and actually ended up at Paddington station together, (I am sure there will be something to transport share soon from events). I jumped out and thanked George and my Uber receipt hit my email for £5.90. As I walked past Mr. Bedraggled, he was fishing out money for his £10.50 bill on the meter. I really feel for the drivers that invested their time doing ‘The Knowledge’, but I had a better experience that kept me dry and took my payment automatically. Best of all it was significantly cheaper! Uber took 20% of the money for introducing me to George.
Where am I going with this?
Can you afford for your business to be the next Blockbuster by ignoring technology? Is there an Uber in your industry, and do you have to match them to beat them, or just have your own innovation? I know its 100% certain that your business will need to change. The next generation of consumers didn’t know life before Wi-Fi, or shops that closed on Sundays.