Most companies think that 'Technology X' or 'Startup Y' is disrupting their business, but there's a flaw in this thinking. It is customers who are driving the disruption.

Companies routinely miss that customers drive the most common and pervasive disruption. They are the ones behind the decisions to adopt or reject new technologies or new products.

Therefore, when established companies decide to focus on changing customer needs and wants, they end up responding more effectively to technology or startup disruption. The fastest way to grow is to offer something that your current customers, those most loyal to you, would gladly pay for if you provided it, and by them acquiring this new offering, it makes your original product or service even more valuable to them.

Disruption is a customer-driven phenomenon. New technologies come and go. The ones that stick around are those consumers' choose to adopt. Many of the fast-growing startups such as Uber, Airbnb, Slack, etc., don’t have access to more or better innovative technologies than the incumbents in their respective industries. What they do have is an ability to build and deliver faster and more accurately precisely what customers want. This is causing the change-of-hands of sizable amounts of market share in a relatively short time and is the basis of disruption.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - Disruption Starts with Unhappy Customers, Not Technology, by Thales S. Teixeira