“What would Google do?”
“How would Amazon attack your business model?”
“How do you make yourself and your product/service superfluous?”
“If you had 10 million euros, how would you completely rebuild your business?”
These and similar questions are asked by many companies by digital consultants around the globe. The idea behind it is that managing directors and company owners should think about what a disruption of their business could look like. In our experience, the reactions to the questions are always very similar: unbelieving shaking of heads, rejecting gestures and statements such as “our business cannot be overrun so easily, these are structures grown over years” or “our product is much too special” and another classic: “that’s more like an end customer business when you sell shoes or something”.
They would not be the first managers to be instructed by the market of a better one. But we are not friends with the “raised forefinger method” which tries to put pressure on decision-makers. We think the facts and shifts in the market speak for themselves. Those who have not taken them seriously so far will not continue to do so.
But what is a “Disruption” and is it really what companies want to achieve?
The term “Disruption” describes a process in which existing, traditional business models, products, technologies or services are replaced and in some cases completely replaced by innovative innovations..
Differentiation from innovation:
The difference between a normal innovation and a disruptive innovation lies in the way of change. While innovation is a renewal that merely develops the market, disruptive innovation is a complete restructuring or disruption of the existing model.
It is therefore important that companies can clearly assign and define their goals and measures in order to be able to distinguish a pure further development (“transition”) to real innovation and disruption. Each segment has its justification and must be provided with a clear strategy. The main difference is who is responsible (company internal vs. external) and how quickly an output has to be realized.
But what can you do when you have recognized the signs of the times and want to use your current strong position to secure or recapture a large part of the cake in the future? What is the right way to face new competitors, startups like digital companies? The ways are manifold and there is no finished recipe – the development is still much too young and experience values are rare.
We show some possibilities in the article “Corporate Incubator Meetup“.
When our founder and lead consultant Stefan Mrozek was asked if he would not like to face exactly this challenge on behalf of a global medium-sized company from OWL, he naturally asked himself the same question:
“How do we manage to create a disruptive startup, with reference to the core business, the use of existing resources and synergies and at the same time independence and freedom to be able to address uncomfortable things and sacrifice sacred cows?”
At that time we decided on the following model:
We took this path and first of all we had to try to understand the rough functioning of the existing business, to shed light on the market entry barriers and to take account of customer needs. Trade fair visits, customer interviews and workshops with the company’s leading employees have enabled us to understand the product and the market. By exchanging ideas with digital experts from a wide variety of technologies, visiting leading digital trade fairs and exchanging ideas with startups and technology leaders, we then looked for new ways to solve the problems of the industry with digital means, to avoid them or to create completely new markets (blue ocean approach).
The result is a series of ideas and concepts which we try out again and again in regular exchange, i.e. attack, change and further develop argumentatively. Thus the concepts sharpen like a diamond that is cut to realistic business concepts.
However, this approach is much more beneficial to companies than perhaps a spin-off. If the procedure is properly designed, a great deal of “waste products” are produced, which the company can use for its own direct profit. We regularly establish contact with experts from our network, contribute ideas for optimizing or redesigning existing processes and repeatedly present start-ups for cooperations or investments. This guarantees that both sides win in the end, no matter how the spin-off of the start-up develops.
The phrase “The path is the goal” has probably never been more appropriate than in this case, and at the same time the very goal of a joint spin-off to go down this path appeals to us. Despite our independence, we appreciate the advantages of a joint spin-off and look forward to redefining the market together!
– The project will continue. –