disruption

What platform will you create?

IMG_0163

Go Pro and Twitter are looking at Livestreaming through Periscope as a way of driving greater growth. The article below from Katie Roof in TechCrunch highlights the story.

For me the interesting thing is that even disrupters need to continually evolve – to move from a single product into a platform that allows ‘buyers’ and sellers’ to interact on an ongoing basis.

Platform businesses are the powerful new form of business that will often bring a number of parties together to interact. Uber and AirBnb are just two examples of how powerful a platform can be if you can get many to interact with many.

Most major organisations are looking to develop platforms – BMW through the interactivity of their in car systems with the internet, Nike with the tapping into running apps, Pharma companies building a platform around health and medical advice and food companies with recipes and advice.

What platform will your business need to create to survive?

“Action camera maker GoPro is integrating with Periscope, the livestreaming app from Twitter. Owners of the GoPro HERO4 cameras will be able to broadcast their adventures directly to Periscope. As soon as the GoPro is paired to an iPhone, it will recognize the Periscope app and let users record and share their surroundings with a live audience. (The GoPro will still be able to record the videos for later viewings).

The cameras, which are popular with surfers and skiers, also enabled broadcasting on Periscope-competitor Meerkat last year. And GoPro has a product called the HEROCast, a wireless transmitter geared towards professional broadcasters.  

Twitter recently announced that it is integrating Periscope into user’s Twitter feeds. It’s unclear how many of Periscope’s 10 million accounts are active, but the company claims that more than 40 years of video is watched on Periscope each day. Livestreaming has become a hit with teens, as apps like YouNow continue to gain traction. YouTube and Facebook have also introduced livestreaming, in an effort to capture this growing audience.

Both Twitter and GoPro are at a crossroads and the companies are hoping that capitalizing on the livestreaming space will attract some new fans.”

Do we all face disruption?

  A great article by Adam Lashinsky @adamlashinsky on Fortune.com talking about the San Francisco taxi cooperative filing for Chapter 11 due to the disruption impact of Uber and Lyft. 

He rightly poses the question ‘ are you at the risk of being disrupted by a fast moving, lightly capitalised upstart? He also rightly answers the question at YES. 

“It has become a cliché in the technology world that everything moves faster now than it used to. The cost of starting a company is lower. The time it takes to get to market is shorter. The ability to disrupt even established and powerful players is greater.

Clichés must be challenged because they often mask a shallow understanding of the facts. In this case, however, the cliché is true.

Take, for instance, the blink of an eye it has taken to all but cripple the U.S. taxi industry. Lyft and UberX (Uber’s ride-hailing app for amateur drivers, versus its earlier service for licensed limousines) both started in 2012. On Friday, San Francisco’s Yellow Cab cooperative filed for bankruptcy protection, a development Fortune’s Kia Kokalitcheva previewed two weeks ago. At the time, it appeared Yellow Cab’s financial woes had more to do with a personal-injury damage award, than competition from cleverer upstarts. Yet according to court papers examined by the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco taxi organization cites worsening business conditions as a reason for its Chapter 11 filing. (The co-op intends to continue operating as usual.)

It’s a safe bet that no healthy business would experience weak business in a market as overheated at San Francisco. The city at the heart of the global technology boom will prove a curious footnote in the demise of the global taxi industry. San Francisco’s taxi service was particularly bad. Hailing a cab on the street was more like a small-town experience, and calling for one was an erratic proposition at best. Adding insult to injury, Yellow Cab now offers a ride-hailing app of its own, pathetically named, and I am not making this up, YoTaxi.

What began in San Francisco has spread lightning quick around the world. Yet so many questions remain. Can Uber consistently make money? Is Uber the global winner, given the many competitors it faces, including a global anti-Uber alliance? Will regulators step in and alter the path of progress. (It wouldn’t be the first time.)

Are you in a business that could be disrupted by a fast-moving, (initially) lightly capitalized, risk-taking upstart? Without knowing what you do, the answer is far more certain than these others. The answer is yes.”

Adam Lashinsky

How long can you wait?

Disruption is all around us. The challenge is that it is not only old business models that are being disrupted. The pace of change is rapid, fuelled by mobility and increasing convergence of technologies, industries and business models.
A great example for me is Pure Digital Technologies. This is the company that developed the Flip Camera. The Flip came out in 2007 at $100 and became the fastest selling camcorder on Amazon within a few weeks. Cisco acquired it in March 2009 for $590m and shut it in April 2011 due to mobile phone technology. An expensive disruption.
The need for a strategic radar or sensing capability is critical – to try to get a view on what could disrupt and what’s around the corner.
Waiting until the new technology is in the market has become a dangerous option.