Social Media & The Disruptive Business Landscape are linked together these days, since I originally wrote this post in 2014 so much has changed. And of course, since Covid businesses have had to pivot and very quickly to stay afloat. The amount of digital transformation that has taken place in a few months is incredible.
The world is awash with money and VC firms and business angels are looking for the next big investment.
History should be something we look at and learn from but unfortunately, innovation is something that is quickly forgotten.
We just need to look back in history to Henry Ford, for instance, he knew that people needed cars but they thought they wanted faster horses!
Then look at the most recent cases of the Uber app which was launched so you could hire a car complete with a driver with little or no waiting time and cheaper than most black cabs, they even hired advertising space on 1500 of the black cabs in London whilst the cabbies were actually striking.
Now, look at Air Bnb which has the potential to shape an entire industry that will have some serious casualties unless the hotels and booking companies innovate fast or purchase Uber they could have some serious problems.
The problem that some organisations face is that they are too slow to innovate and have already started projects that will be out of date by the time they are finished.
People who are closed to change organisations are archaic, not like start-up businesses that are able to move with the trends and change direction fairly rapidly.
The good news is that there are plenty of people out there who spot opportunities early and act upon them, these are people with entrepreneurial mindsets and usually get social media.
The backbone of innovation and change management is possible but it takes a forward-thinking team to work with these wacky eccentric, creative types who can be a bit too random even for the most open-minded people.
There is good news though as lots of exciting innovations are occurring and there are still lots of opportunities for the forward-thinking executives to get ahead of the curve adopting a completely open-minded, random and supportive policy to product innovation is a good place to start.
Many companies are using social media to pretest innovations and hold focus groups, enabling product development teams to utilise the end-user experience first hand and have a two-way conversation. Enabling faster product development and more accurate forecasting for production departments enables the prices to be kept lower for buyers and distribution lead times to be much more in line with demand. This strategy coupled with 3d printers can now be used to such efficiency that for physical products like shoes the cult following brand advocacy of consumers is huge. Making crowdfunding a trendy thing not just some kind of a ridiculous investment.
If you look at Brewdog brewery as another example as to this they raised a considerable amount of money and actually built so much exposure from their wacky innovations that they don’t need to advertise and have grown their business incrementally by building brand advocates who think they are investors but are really entering a buying club and social media has been massive in promoting this.
So it’s all about thinking outside the box, keeping fresh ideas flowing through into the world of business and innovation.
After all, just think we had meat and bread but took thousands of years to come up with the idea to make a sandwich!