The capacity to react and respond to disruptive technologies, and I must say the incapacity as well, is the central theme of this blog. During the last weeks however I rediscovered a basic fact. It is not technology itself. Technology has only potential if and when used and applied properly. It is not technology that is disruptive.
Effects of technology have the power to be disruptive. Startups can challenge incumbents. Market outsiders can attack existing markets. Customers can act as a swarm and suddenly decide to go elsewhere. Established players should react and respond not to technology, but to other people’s actions. Players should redefine their position and value proposition.
These days the best battlefield to watch the bizarre and explosive mix of high tech, attacks by startups and lack of responses by incumbents is media and publishing. Today Amazon communicated that it has been selling more ebooks than paper books for already quite a while. Today I recieved an email from a wellknown author stating that publishers think it’s 1960. Today I recieved an action leaflet from Aldi, a large discounter (food and nonfood), offering an inexpensive ebook reader. And that’s just about books.
Today I learned about the first personalized newspaper for the iPad while my own quality newspaper on paper still carried at least 5 enormous mistakes in it’s main editorial comment of last saturday.
And that’s just today.
The mediaindustries show us what will happen and is happening if and when myopia takes over inside a company or industry. Wise lessons are to be learned by just watchting them.