Today, Amazon is everyone’s competition in one way or another. Amazon started out with books and quickly moved to retail goods, perishable goods, cell phones (did not do so well in this area), tablets, spaceships, data servers, logistics and the list continues to build. It continually works by obtaining more and more business with lower and lower margins. It is truly a disruptor.
The question I keep coming back to is the following,
How can I be a disruptor in the market today?
I wrestle with this question every day. Look at the reports in 2017 of how many retail stores are closing. How did we get to this point? What happened to these big, prized companies that were at the top of their game from 1990-2005.
- Look at the way coffee has taken over the fast-food market.
- Look at changes in flat-screen televisions in the last ten years.
- Look at the updates that schools and universities have done in the past ten years.
- Look at how school libraries have fewer books than ever before.
- Look at the computer technology in automobiles in the last seven years.
- Look at the how many people do not have a smartphone these days.
- Look at how easy and convenient it is to order items online and receive them in 1-2 days.
- Look at how people are quickly cutting the cable cord for more options through apps and alternative live streaming programs.
This is the challenge for all of us as representatives of our companies. Remember, Kodak had digital technology in-house and decided against it and it cost them dearly.
Look at disruptor thinking more and more
Nothing is sacred anymore. A food retailer can become a media company like Starbucks. A movie rental company can become a major network company today like Netflix. A game service like SonyPlaystation (Sony Vue) can compete with Cox Cable or Comcast. It may be time to look outside our immediate services and look at ways to revolutionize what we are currently doing. It is not too soon start thinking this way. My philosophy has always been, there is always a disruptor around the corner, and we better be ready. In the meantime, we also need to keep making inroads to ensure we are continually disrupting our industries in some fashion by creating better value for our employees and customers.
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