Friday, May 24, 2013

Big-Bang Disruption

Big-Bang Disruption (BBD) is a term recently coined by Accenture gurus Larry Drownes and Paul F. Numes in "Big-Bang Disruption", HBR Mar 2013.
Lately, technological innovation started out from the low-end. Initially cheap and simple substitutes of traditional existing, more complex products are offered. From this starting position, disruptive innovators work their way up, improving their product until they can capture higher-end clients as well.

But now that platforms such as Android and iPhone have become so powerful, simple to use and omnipresent, a new type of disruptive innovation is enabled: 'big-bang disruptions', wiping out entire markets almost overnight. Big-bang disruptors don't start anymore with attacking the low end, they attack all users at the same time.

The authors argue that the total length of Roger's Innovation Curve has now been compressed a lot. And not only that, his 5 customer segments (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards) are now obsolete for such markets and should be replaced by a model with just 2 type of users: trial users and everyone else.

The authors have 4 tips for incumbents - none of them seems very easy to achieve...:
1. See it coming - recognize early warning signs.
2. Slow the disruption down - delay their profitability and form alliances with partners they need.
3. Prepare for immediate evacuation of current markets and getting rid of physical assets.
4. Try a new kind of diversification - have many experiments at the same time on extendable platforms.