Disruptions have come in many guises, some have started off as ideas taken from fictions or thrillers like the James Bond film showing car navigation on a cell phone long before it actually became an app that pervaded all smart phones and became source for new disruption.
Some disruptions did not have an economic model backing it, no one could have found any business model in the traditional sense when there was no initial revenue involved for example in a host of things that we have seen from Viber to Instagram to the likes of Snap Chat, but the more the connections exploded, the more the power of connecting.
The power of connecting with people, partners, ideas is itself turning into a strong business proposition that has the potential of monetizing either individually or collectively partnering with some other business.
Earlier people were more concerned how to monetize a business idea. That has now changed to monetizing being not a priori but a posterior event, sometimes more of a non-priority. The world of business has settled on the idea of growth as more fundamental than monetizing the business. This has changed many things.
Reaching out to large number of people could actually be quite easy now if you knew how to partner with the right disrupters. Reaching out and connecting with large numbers has itself become the business model of some businesses.
Looking for partners who could combine with you to either reach scale or reach is the current order of the day. You can hardly make the distance alone, reach out to millions all by your own. But together with other disrupters you could do it easily. This leaves a sobering thought that if you are thinking of going it alone, you could be interrupted suddenly by some cohorts who have combined pieces of the puzzles you were de-constructing and they have a better way of doing it.
The web is a potential ally where you could find the right cohorts who could be your next of kin. These cohorts could have no connection with your business, but they could bring you to thousands of connections, which you could take years to develop.
On the selling side as well on the buying side this has huge ramifications. Some businesses who have taken decades to develop a reach, could suddenly find entrants achieving similar scale in months.
First mover is no more an advantage, unless you could constantly innovate to raise entry barriers.
But the web has its ways of reducing these barriers constantly either through collective innovation or through new business models.
At least the time taken to catch up has reduced drastically. So if you think you have a head start of several years, you could be very wrong.
Heavy investments in assets, mostly fixed, is getting a beating from all corners, with new models of sharing or use of platforms.
One of the reasons why the world has seen so little of fresh investments in fixed assets in the last decade is because of this. Sharing capacities is never easier than now. Resource conservation has also driven this.
Before you think of the next fixed asset investment, think of the partner who has it already developed for you.
More and more we have to get used to this changed reality that you need not be the first mover any more, but still you could move your business faster by combing with other cohorts, whether in procurement, marketing, distribution or sales.