Today, disruptive companies are the fastest-growing in history. In reality, they are movers and shakers in the business world today. They came and smoothly disrupted the business ecosystem. They rolled their products and services that approached their market in a way that changed everything by offering products or services that lowered prices, approached their markets in unheard-of-ways, and eventually created scintillating and agile markets. This has resulted into rebellious creativity of innovative products and out-of-this-world services.
These disruptions are flying on the wings of technology i.e. technological innovations with internet technology at the base of it. From rough estimation, there are over 2 billion smart phones on the planet. That changes every single IT model planet. As at last count, there are nearly 3 billion people online. That means that every single enterprise is changing how they are going to reach or give their own products to their target customers.
It has been observed by experts that internet and digital technology have brought significant change and occasionally, death to many industries. For instance, internet and globalisation promote digital disruption in media, higher education (through online courses and programmes), TV and cable industry, banking industry, publishing, and the list can go on and on.
The publishing industry is undergoing significant disruption. For instance, Amazon with its digital infrastructure has altered that tradition way of publishing, pushing down book prices and controlling point of sale. The likes of Google, Apple, Netflix, Skype, WhatsApp, Uber, are doing the same thing in their respective industries.
In reality, customers are embracing mobile and internet technologies as their preferred means of doing business, and the number is growing each year even here in Nigeria. Internet of Business (IoB) is a new trend of using technology to promote ones business, and connect to customers on global scale.
In the words of Strive Masiyiwa, the Executive Chairman of Econet Wireless, ‘Most of the fastest growing businesses in the world are businesses that have ‘re-imagined’ well established business areas by introducing innovations based on the internet and mobile phone technologies. By simply re-imagining, any business can be disrupted. Disruption creates greater business value to both the creator and the end users’.
You can take any industry you want and zoom into it and say, what are the underlying online technological factor(s) that are going to change the business model for the next couple of years? Enterprises are not going to be able to survive in the future if they do not get good at internet and other types of technologies. Like someone rightly observed, ‘The most successful businesses today (big or small) are those that see themselves as technology companies, irrespective of what business they are in.’
In the words of Peter Diamandis, ‘You either disrupt your company or someone else will’. That’s the truth. Let’s take a look at Uber’s story: Uber has already disrupted the entire cab and car sharing market with their model. They are now disrupting themselves with self-driving car, which has the potential to save millions of lives and improve quality of life for people around the world.
We can’t deny the fact that the present disruption comes with new growth opportunities. Like I have pointed earlier, businesses must reimagine their content and business models if they must remain relevant in the medium to long term, and tap from it. How can you re-imagined your business on the Internet or using a mobile app? This is how renowned companies like Alibaba, Tencent, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Instacart, IrokoTv, Konga, Jumia, Shypmate, Yudala, Wakanow and others came into existence. They came and change the way we buy, sell and live.
You have to look for new enabling technologies, or major trends, like fundamental trends that create a wide gap between how things are done and how they can be done. What was impossible, because of either economic feasibility or technical feasibility ten to fifteen years ago is now possible with the aid of internet technology.
The best way to disrupt and keep disrupting is to live in the future. Imagine what could be missing, and create it. Constantly spot technological tends relating to your business. Then learn, adopt, and keep repeating the process. Adopt entrepreneurial approach in your disruptive drives as soon as you spot new opportunities, and continue to create more value chain in ways that the customer would not have known how to ask for. Welcome to the world of endless disruption! To remain in it, you must continue to disrupt or die!
About the Author of this Article
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the Principal Strategist, TA Strategic Solutions, a Lagos-based firm that provides strategic business development services for budding entrepreneurs.And the Director,Nigeria Innovation Summit.His ideas are highly sought after by leading Nigerian print media such as Punch Newspaper, Daily Sun, Effective Managers Series- Daily Independent, Financial Standard, Business Day, M2 weekly, BrandWork Nigeria, BrandCrunch, ReguLetter (an international journal), amongst others. Tony has written hundreds of business articles that have been shared on several media platforms around the world both online and off-line.He is also a seasoned idea strategist, trainer and professional speaker and his voice has been heard in numerous establishments across Nigeria and beyond.Tony has worked closely with some of the brightest minds in the industry. He is a member of several professional organisations within and outside the country, and also an alumnus on Federal University of Technology Owerri.