By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.

From Uber to Netflix to WhatsApp and Airbnb, digital disruptors are everywhere…

Are you willing to do the same things, the same way and risk everything by not listening, watching and anticipating what’s coming your way and/or towards your industry?

Are you going to put your head in the sand like an ostrich hiding, just like The Music Industry did? While Napster and Apple decimated their industry? Or perhaps following Blockbusters hesitation to acquire a ‘startup’ at little cost, called Netflix who was initially offering movies on DVD via US Post?

Look at the digital disruption in all media formats from TV Broadcast, Cable, Movies, Newspapers, Magazines and even books – all incumbents are under amazing pressure with Disruptors like Pandora, Apple, TiVo, Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon Kindle and more.

Digital Disruptors and revolutionizing Industries and are primarily driven my visionary people who see slow moving, monolithic, analog companies that are resistant to change, don’t think globally, don’t use big data or are just plain ‘comfortable’.

Driven by nothing more than web access, big data, operational excellence, immense innovation, deep personalization, smartphones, digital disruptors are everywhere. WhatsApp has displaced telecoms companies, Netflix changed home entertainment and Airbnb is having a crack at the travel industry. Just don’t say game-changer. Or hyper-growth.

Uber, a Taxi App is perhaps the ultimate example of a digital disruptor. It allows people to track their taxi’s arrival progress and pay with a mobile phone. (In fact, Uber Technologies Inc. was just valued at more than $50 Billion last month.)

Now that’s transparency of the kind never seen before in the taxi industry, and it’s changed the business model both here in the US and globally.

Is your industry being ‘Uber-ized’ ? Disruptive innovation is appearing across the digital sphere to break the dominant business models, but as well as famous disruptors like Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, Telsa, SpaceX, Spotify, WhatsApp, Netflix and SolarCity, there are many wannabes and start-ups glad for the level playing field that the humble app has created. So how is it done?

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Here are ways to address your disruption and flourish in 2016 and beyond:

  1. Disruption is a competitive advantage – you must think like that in 2015 and beyond to succeed in business today. Just look at Uber, a ride-sharing app, which just closed a funding round, reaches mark faster than Facebook. In fact, Uber just completed a new round of funding in July, that values the five-year-old ride-hailing company at close to $51 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, equaling Facebook Inc.’s record for a private, venture-backed startup.
  1. Operational excellence is a competitive mandatory.
  1. Digital disruptors build better product experiences that create stronger customer relationships.
  1. Digital disruptors bring their products and services to market faster.
  1. Innovation is constant and must be constantly refined, enhanced and improved.
  1. It’s an economic issue about serving your customers more efficiently through whatever devices they happen to have.
  1. Totally eliminate your industry’s persistent customer pain points.
  1. Completely reduce complexity. The more complex the processes and practices in your business or industry, the greater your opportunity to gain competitive advantage by simplifying them.
  1. ZIG while the others ZAG – by this I mean, do the complete opposite. Change directions, upend expectations, push through boundaries, and importantly, run toward the thing everyone else is running from – stand out from the crowd. Just look for inspiration at SpaceX, Tesla, DropBox, WeWork and other Unicorns. Note: Unicorns—the nickname given to startups worth at least $1 billion

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Drive the digital disruption and paradigm shift yourself before you become disrupted target for the disruptors. After all it’s much easier to lead when you aren’t focused on playing catch up against the new upstarts in your market. Disruptive Companies and Paradigm Shifter always strategize, analyze, plot and plan all ‘social aspects’ of their services from Day 1. Never making it an afterthought.

Bottom-line, always think about where your business is today, dream and move it to be where it needs to be and plot and anticipate how to take it to the next level.





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