Isn’t it curious why a cab driver didn’t think of Uber? Why Barnes & Noble didn’t think of Amazon? Why Blockbuster didn’t think of Netflix? Or why Marriott didn’t think of AirBnB? Well, according to this article its because when a company is so focussed on the ‘cash cow’ that keeps delivering, you are less likely to be disruptive of your own biz model that works. It’s also harder to see the disruption that others could bring to your business, when you have ‘tunnel vision’ of your industry. The article also introduces the idea of hard trends (things that will happen) vs soft trends (things that might happen), and the importance of differentiating between the two, when tackling disruption.
The new digital disruptors have flipped on its head what people even mean by the sector in which they operate. Uber is the largest taxi service without owning a single car. AirBnB is the largest hotel service without owning or building a single hotel room. So the sense of what these industries even look like, has been disrupted.
According to the article by Daniel Burrus, a best-selling author and innovation expert,
“In order to thrive in this time of exponential change and rapid digital disruption, it is imperative to actively scan far outside of your industry looking for new ways to disrupt yourself, before others do it for you. When you do discover a new technology or technology-driven trend that could be used to disrupt you, it is important to separate what I call the Hard Trends that will happen from the Soft Trends that might happen.
When you can anticipate a disruption before it happens, you now have a powerful choice. You can either be the disrupter or the disrupted. You can use predictable Hard Trends to create the new cash cows that will disrupt your competitors and grow your future. It’s important to understand that disruption can either bring opportunity (if you get there early)—or disaster (if someone else does).”