To disrupt or not to disrupt?

To disrupt or not to disrupt? Here’s why that shouldn’t be the question.

There are many businesses of all sizes that are set up to disrupt every industry on planet. There’s even disruptive grants and funds for all sectors.

The nature of disruption seems to be misguided. It’s another buzzword/sector/industry that has risen alongside the rise of technology and the Silicon Valley giants. Disruption has many perceptions in the business world most of them falling under the guise of exaggerated capitalism. Taking it back to management theory basics, this resembles Porter’s 5 forces – constantly analysing and looking for competition. Look at the Alphabet acquisitions from Instagram to Kaggle, respectively – if you can’t build it buy it. Source: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-acquisitions-data-visualisation-infoporn-waze-youtube-android

If companies, VCs and governments took some time to reassess their priorities they would discover that the public don’t need multiple versions of new technology or have their day to day lives ‘disrupted’. What many people, I included would like to see is technology that works. Works the way it is described to consumers and works to the standard we would expect.

This however is a pipe dream, because of the obsession with originality and ‘firsts’ in technology. Ironically, the inherent unoriginality of those searching for the ‘first’ in technology is not often covered in media, longform, social posts or otherwise. It is a marketing term that is emblazoned in many mission and vision statements across the globe and is the core of a ridiculous number of summits and networking groups.

What should businesses be doing? At every level they should be thinking about how to make their industry larger for greater social impact that consumers respect and will buy. Especially in climate change related technological industries there is a huge social pulse and conscience – some may say a little too late, but the important thing is to try. The world is only now taking an interest in Greta Thunberg the 16-year-old Swedish activist who has a world platform to let the world including prospective industry ‘disruptors’ know that her generation will not accept the same level of mediocrity and complacency when they enter the workforce and have the most disposable income and buying power.

It is important for businesses not to focus on the now but to focus on the what can be and how it can be done in a socio-economically friendly and ethical manner. Paying attention to the MACRO – Opportunities and Threats is an area that all business need but fail miserably to take on board. Doing this would build not only more sustainable businesses, it gives staff value and a purpose that younger generations seem to have developed by themselves. It’s time to stop disrupting by any means necessary and become sustainable to save on costs.

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