The unfortunate reality for those of you who run businesses with models created prior to a few years ago, chances are it is fundamentally flawed in a world where technology is becoming increasingly integrated into our lives. We are all becoming more and more connected to one another, every day and almost everywhere we go.
While the Internet is finally being embraced by most companies, they seem to be focused on leveraging it as a marketing mechanism. This logic is flawed. Social Media as it is commonly referred to is the result of a never before possible connective tissue that between us. This connection coupled with the abundance of choice and free time formerly monopolized mostly by sitting passively in front of the television, is forcing a shift from a consumer mindset to what some, including me, are calling the “creator economy.”
People will participate with one another to add layers of value to the things they buy and the places they go. Your business model must be the platform they use to engage in the exchange of goods and services in ways that are productive for them and profitable for you. The days when you produce something on one end for someone else to consume it on the other are over. It makes no difference what you are selling. If you create it in a vacuum and broadcast it’s “value” in mass to the public, your business model is going extinct.
As with most changes that come along in a market, there is good and bad news for incumbent companies across all industries. The bad news for larger players is that the same technology that is growing at such a high rate and creating opportunities for them is also very inexpensive and widely available. This makes it easier for those with the ambition to do so, to disrupt entire industries and change the market conditions permanently. The most well known example, Craig Newmark from Craigslist, crippled the newspaper industry by changing the way the classifieds business worked.
You know about Craigslist and the newspapers. You likely remember Napster and what it did to the music industry. I’m sure you see that platforms like E-bay, Netflix and Skype are wholly disruptive to their respective industries but you may not know is that there are disruptive models popping up in all corners of industry and they are growing fast:
See an ongoing list of these companies here.
Now for the good news for those of you that are running existing companies. You have the advantage of capital, market knowledge, experienced employees and most importantly customers. You have all of the ingredients to successfully create and incubate new models for testing and scaling in a real market.
Don’t sit by and let two guys in a garage dictate the future of your industry. Dedicate some resources towards looking at things with fresh eyes.
What does your industry look like in five years?
Just reach out and ask us.