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Jul 102013
 

Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

The barriers to entry in your market just vanished. Unexpected competitors are swarming in. Are you ready? You always knew digital was going to change things, but you didn’t realize how close to home it would hit. In every industry, digital competitors are taking advantage of new platforms, tools, and relationships to undercut competitors, get closer to customers, and disrupt the usual ways of doing business. The only way to compete is to evolve. James McQuivey of Forrester Research has been

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  3 Responses to “Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation Reviews”

  1. 13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Solid discussion of disruption, but less a discussion of business digitization, January 7, 2013
    By 
    Mark P. McDonald (Chicago, IL United States) –
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    This review is from: Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation (Hardcover)
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    Digital Disruption provides a solid discussion of the attitudes, tools and strategies involved in creating disruptive opportunities for yourself and your organization. James McQuivey does a good job discussing the changing context created by a digital environment where free tools and open access to markets eliminates traditional barriers to entry and advantage. Digital Disruptor is recommended reading for those looking to upgrade their management practices and approaches by re-energizing their innovation tools and techniques.

    McQuivey’s central premise is that if people plus infrastructure equal disruption, then digital innovators plus digital infrastructure equals digital disruption. The rest of the book focuses on what these digital disrupters are, the tools they use and how you can become a digital disrupter. This is more of an innovation book than one based on applying digital technology to business.

    McQuivey uses a number of individual and company examples to illustrate what it means to be disruptive from FerroKin, Disney, FitNow among others. McQuivey uses these observations to illustrate the concepts of digital disruption across three sections:

    Part 1: What is digital disruption?
    Part 2: Adopt a digital disruptor’s mindset?
    Part 3: Behave like a digital disruptor?
    Part 4: Disrupt yourself now.

    The book focuses on management and business tools to answer these questions. Overall these techniques re-iterate and update customer focused tools and techniques.

    Digital disruption is the ability to create value by meeting customer needs at a lower cost, with faster development times and a greater impact on the customer experience than anything that came before. That is a good description of performance-based disruption – dong things better, faster, and more efficiently. Digital disruptors are seen as actors that engage in disruption. These actors range from individuals to small companies to groups inside of large companies. The `digital disruptor’ becomes the persona and focus of the book with the goal of describing bow digital tools allow digital disrupters come at you from all directions – and from all ages, backgrounds and nationalities.

    The book covers management tools more than digital technology. In fact it discharges the importance of technology in the fist paragraph of part two, page 19, when it points out that `their edge (digital disruptors) does not come from technology, technology is just a means to a different end, an end that most people can’t even conceive of because they do not have a disruptors mindset.’

    Adopting a digital disruptor’s mindset requires seeing past the problem to the solution. That involves recognizing and moving away from an `inside out ` bias toward one that starts and ends with the customer. Armed with that attitude and perspective the organization can drive the following transformations: from Make to Give, from Product to People, from Sell to Want all of which leads up to a benefits based mindset. This requires engaging various `free’ models deployed on digital platforms that deploy new products rapidly and create and maintain digital customer relationships. McQuivey uses a revised version of needs as a means of advocating this different way of thinking in terms of Comfort, Connection, Variety and Uniqueness. This is a helpful framework and a good update on classic Maslow based thinking.

    Behaving like a digital disruptor involves adopting a different approach to innovation one based on seeking ideas from the `adjacent possibilities. Teams find these possibilities by a three step process of1) seeking adjacent possibilities, 2) depending on convergent adjacencies and 3) persisting on the path to innovation. This process forms the basis for understanding innovative ideas that are delivered through delivering a total product experiences that `wrap around and through a product, even a very analog product, to amplify, expand and digitally redefine the way the customer experiences the product.’

    That represents the book in a nutshell

    Overall:

    Digital Disruptor concentrates on describing the attitudes and mental models of disruption more than the specifics of digital technology and how it drives innovative solutions. This book is in the tradition of `Re-engineering the Corporation’ in pointing out the case for change. However, executives looking for a technology based discussion will find little in the book to help them as technologies like mobile computing, social, analytics etc. are mentioned more in passing than being a focus of the discussion. Much of the fundamentals beneath this argument relate to using technology to do things better and in new ways rather than creating new sources of value and revenue. The illustrative case stories, sprinkled throughout the book effectively illustrate the author’s points, but do not go…

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  2. 8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I loved this book…, March 6, 2013
    By 
    Mark Ramsey (California) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Digital Disruption uncovers the main obstacles to surfing the non-stop waves of disruption for any company and provides a framework for how to overcome those obstacles.

    Instead of asking “How can we make a new product that we can successfully sell?” the disruptor asks: How can we give people something they really want – where that “something” is a broader view of the offering that includes value elements and “experiences” beyond the product itself, limited only by the “adjacent possible” rather than by any company’s too-limiting self-concept of what it does and doesn’t do.

    “To become a digital disruptor [and, as the book notes, that's where all companies should be headed], you have to be obsessed with finding more ways to meet more consumer needs more quickly than before.”

    And that’s done by leveraging the “four fundamental human needs”: Comfort, Connection, Variety, and Uniqueness.

    Then go outside-in and ask what’s the NEXT thing your consumer needs? The consumer is at the center of what becomes more than a product – it’s a product experience.

    Lots of thoughtful ideas are in this book, and the mindset is immensely valuable to any business that thinks in products or services rather than the consumers who use them, the experiences which will capture their attention and engagement, and the things they are likely to want next – no matter whether or not it’s what you think you’re making today.

    Highly recommended!

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  3. 11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Just enough high-level guidance to help you get started in the right direction, February 24, 2013
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    This review is from: Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation (Hardcover)
    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)

    According to the author, who works for Forrester Research, many companies’ attempts at “innovation” fail because they tend to either play it too safe with inconsequential and incremental product changes, or take ill-conceived big leaps into initiatives that are too “pie-in-the-sky-ish.” A better approach is what the author calls “innovating adjacent possibilities,” which entails understanding your customers’ needs, identifying products or services that can address real customer needs in new ways, then strategizing on how to best productize those ideas in a cost effective manner.

    While I think the proposed approach can be used by any company to generate ideas, the author is most excited and passionate about businesses using it to build digital bridges to consumers who, with each passing generation, will increasingly be leading more and more digitally-centric lives, and, therefore, be predisposed to looking for values in the digital world. According to the author, with the availability of so many digital tools and infrastructures that can now be harnessed for the creation of such values at minimal or very reasonable costs, businesses that fail to seize disruptive opportunities in the digital world will quickly become irrelevant.

    The advice given in this book on how to seize digitally disruptive business opportunities is at a very high level and will likely only help you get started in the right direction. What “adjacent possibilities” really mean and how they can be differentiated from the merely “incremental innovation opportunities” require more definition, discussion, and/or illustrative examples. That innovation initiatives cannot succeed without top-down support is mentioned, but I feel not further addressed adequately. Finally, although execution is important, there is not a whole lot of discussion about pitfalls and mistakes to avoid beyond the repeated emphasis on the importance of having “the right mindset.”

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