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Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation Hardcover – February 26, 2013
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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 teaching people how to do this for over a decade. He’s gone into the biggest companies, even in traditional industries like insurance and consumer packaged goods, and changed the way they think about innovation. Now he’s sharing his approach with you.
McQuivey will show you how Dr. Hugh Reinhoff of Ferrokin BioSciences disrupted the pharmaceutical industry, streamlining connections with doctors and regulators to bring molecules to market far faster―and then sold out for $100 million. How Charles Teague and his team of four people created Lose It!, a weight loss application that millions have adopted, achieving rapid success and undermining titans like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig in the process.
Regardless of your background and industry, you can learn how to be a digital disruptor too. First, adopt the right mindset: Take risks, invest as cheaply as possible, and build on existing platforms to find the fastest path to solving a customer’s problem.
Second, seek the “adjacent possible”―the space just next to yours where new technology creates opportunity. That’s how Benjamin Rubin and Paolo DePetrillo of Zeo created a $100 sleep monitor that does much of what you’d get from a $3,000 sleep lab visit.
Finally, disrupt yourself. Use these tools to make parts of your business obsolete before your competitors do. That’s what Tim FitzRandolph did at Disney, creating a game that shot to the top of the app store charts.
With the tools in this book you can assess your readiness, learn the disruptive mindset, and innovate rapidly, starting right within your own business.
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“I have studied disruptive innovation for more than two decades. Here, McQuivey offers insights about disruption―and about the accelerating pace of disruption―that I truly hadn’t understood before. This is a very important book about what tomorrow holds in store; it shows us both what will happen and how to address it. I recommend it enthusiastically.” ―Clayton Christensen, professor, Harvard Business School, and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma
“As James McQuivey says, ‘Digital disruption is not only a possibility for your company’s future but the only possibility.’ Once you accept that premise, decisions that previously seemed courageous or outrageous will instead appear to be rational and inevitable. James offers a road map for business leadership in the digital age that is thoughtful, inspiring, and liberating.” ―Baba Shetty, CEO, The Newsweek Daily Beast Co.
“There is a powerful change happening in the way we consume and process information. It’s a democratizing force that is drowning out the oligarchy of media who have told us what’s important and what to think. It is incumbent upon all of us to master this new method―and to take the power into our own hands. James’s book is an important step in that direction.” ―Cory Booker, mayor, Newark, New Jersey, and co-founder, Waywire
“In Digital Disruption, James McQuivey persuasively demonstrates how to shift your mind-set by thinking and acting ‘disruptively’ in order to drive radical change to best meet the future needs of your consumers.” ―Markus Dohle, chairman and CEO, Random House
“As McQuivey vividly shows, advances in hardware and software have totally changed the way we do business and the way we live. This valuable book helps business leaders join this accelerating revolution and transform their relationship with customers.” ―Kevin Rollins, former CEO, Dell, Inc.
“Technology disruption used to affect other people, not you. No longer. This is a frightening and useful manifesto about how the rapid changes in technology are going to overturn every corner of the world as we know it―and how you can take advantage of that.” ―Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception
“Many Fortune 500 companies that existed three decades ago are now gone. If your company is to survive the next decade, read this book ASAP to learn how to innovate faster, better, and cheaper―or else, you will succumb to digital disruption.” ―Navi Radjou, coauthor of Jugaad Innovation and From Smart To Wise
“In his new book, James makes a compelling argument to think beyond change for change’s sake and instead focus on giving customers what they truly want. This book is a must-read for anybody who wants to succeed in the next era of consumer technology.” ―Jim Lanzone, President, CBS Interactive
“James McQuivey issues a provocative mandate for business―disrupt yourself or be victimized by legions of innovators with widespread access to low-cost digital technologies. He not only describes the digital disruptor’s handbook, he provides many examples on how disruptors create deeper, more sustaining connections with customers. The book is both smart and practical.” ―Scott E. Howe, CEO and President, Acxiom
“Disrupting healthcare as an industry has become a national imperative. Forrester’s book, brilliantly analyzing the anatomy of disruption, is just what the doctor should have ordered.” ―Roy Shoenberg, MD MPH, CEO/Founder, American Well
About the Author
James McQuivey is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and the leading analyst tracking the development of digital disruption. He comments regularly in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and has contributed to the websites of the Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and Forbes. He also appears frequently on news outlets like CNBC and NPR. McQuivey lives in Needham, Massachusetts, with his wife and the four youngest of their six disruptors.
- ASIN : 1477800123
- Publisher : Amazon Publishing; American First edition (February 26, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 171 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781477800126
- ISBN-13 : 978-1477800126
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.13 x 1 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #484,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
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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
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 into an analysis or exploration of what they did to be digitally disruptive.
The book provides a good way to engage executives in a general discussion about where, how and when to think about disrupting the status quo in their industry and in their organization. Those looking for more specific ways to create digital value can certainly benefit from reading Digital Disruptor, but they will need to supplement their reading with other materials that concentrate on more on the `how to' of creating customer value and company revenue via digitizing the business.
‘People + Infrastructure = Disruption’ forms the key sections of the book. The discussion rallies around a few guideposts in drawing up a digital strategy – the following is a list I gleaned (not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the book) that I found myself adopting into my consulting practice :
1. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking about the incremental product features but ask yourself what the adjacent benefits the customer derives from your offerings. The book presents an alternative framework to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs– Comfort, Connection, Uniqueness and Variety that people desire. Map the product experiences to these needs.
2. In the digital environment, practices for establishing and maintaining barriers to competition matter little and are counterproductive. What matters is ability to deliver value to the customer. Such value comes from seeing what customers need.
3. The discussion on infrastructure includes my favorite topic of the power of digital platforms. Digital Platforms are what the railways or highways were to businesses in the last century. They facilitate one to innovate the adjacent possible; by providing the opportunity for rapid innovation cycles and learning from the inevitable failures. Digital platforms are available to everyone; and are perfectly suited for large companies to exploit without exorbitant investments.
4. The excitement of the developments in digital technologies is that the distance between an idea and the digital realization of that idea is now shortened. The impact comes from the fact that if ten times as many people can participate in bringing ten time as many ideas each to market, only one or two of those ideas need to succeed in order to completely disrupt your business
5. The case studies in the book span internal incubation and external partnering strategies that one could pursue in their digital innovation journeys
6. The book overall does a great job articulating what you as a leader of the digital disruption journey of your company should focus on doing – rapidly identifying a list of the next things your customers want and quickly giving them the few that are easiest for you to deliver. The key message is - Stop trying to predict the future of your products, focus instead on the next possible thing your customers needs and let the future find you !
While I find the emphasis on finding the ‘next adjacent customer need’ a strong lynchpin for ideas on digital disruption, it is not complete in itself in my opinion. Perhaps the next edition of the book would benefit from it if it included:
- discussions on exploiting hard usage data as an asset for pointing to ideas for digital disruption
- structured analysis methods to get at the 'adjacent possibilities'.
- the challenges unique to larger companies in drawing up their digital strategies – eg., branding, how you put digital at the heart of your business while not abandoning your legacy
Top reviews from other countries
It's not rocket science, but it opens your mind in many ways you probably didn't think before.
Great reading for everyone interested in disruption, innovation and real progress.
author likes to keep reminding us how clever he is
not a writing style that I like.