1,000 songs in your pocket.
That one slogan helps explain how a computer company (aka Apple) transformed the music business and sold 300 million iPods in the process.
People could now purchase their music online. Physical music stores became redundant. Online piracy was less of an issue. Lone songs were available at a fraction of the cost of whole albums. And hundreds of them could be transported on one portable device.
Disruption of an industry doesn’t get much bigger than what Apple achieved.
But how did they do it? How do some companies look at proud, old industries, and revolutionize them in line with their vision? Thankfully, you don’t have to be a Steve Jobs to make it happen.
Anyone with the right know-how can do it.
Keep reading to discover 7 tactical tips to disrupt an industry.
7 Ways to Disrupt an Industry the Easy Way
Sometimes you need to make a splash, cause a fuss, and mix things up. Here’s how to do it in your industry of choice.
1. Solve the Unsolvable
Every market has problems they haven’t been able to solve.
Then someone comes along, solves them, and voila, market disrupted.
Take Amazon as a prime example.
There wasn’t really anywhere to buy books online before Amazon. Book stores were struggling businesses, stuck in the dark ages. Then Bezos created an entire marketplace from buying them online.
Now the company generates over $61 billion annually and has 97,000 employees.
That’s the power of disruption you should be aiming for. Consider the problems in your industry and set about solving them.
2. Take a DIY Approach
That’s easier said than done, right?
Try taking a new approach to old problems. Why not look to make a splash in industries where you have no prior experience?
Previous experience in totally different fields can be exceptionally helpful. For instance, it may take a biologist to solve a physics problem or vice versa.
People usually say something can’t be done because they’ve been told as much. They’ve been reared on that belief and fulfill the prophecy accordingly. Someone new to the mix doesn’t have that negative mindset. They can see it clearly for what it is and set about fixing things.
Oh, and yeh, solve the problem yourself. We’re too used to paying someone to provide solutions. But the nature of unsolvable problems is that there isn’t anyone to do it. Scratch your own itch instead.
Need a company that’ll provide the requisite logistical support to succeed in your initial industry of focus? Create it. Make it happen, then use it to solve the first problem.
3. Break the Mold
Disruption of anything usually requires doing things differently.
To disrupt a quiet classroom you make a noise. To disrupt an industry you do the same. Look at what’s happening and actively push against it.
There will always be people and ‘experts’ with an opinion on your idea. You will probably be told you’re stupid, foolish, and absolutely incorrect in your approach. Take that as active fuel for your fire, as well as a clear sign you’re doing something right.
People generally don’t enjoy someone upsetting their current way of life. They’ll get annoyed, stomp and moan and throw a tantrum, telling you you’re wrong. That’s good news. Keep doing what you’re doing.
4. Move Fast and Make a Fuss
Speed is of the essence.
And so it the amount of noise you make.
Be a bull in a china shop when you enter your industry of choice. The metaphor of a bull is apt here. You need to be the business embodiment of one. Bulls don’t stop with an obstacle in their way. They don’t hesitate when they’re told they can’t do it.
Instead, they charge and break things at every turn. They’re one step ahead and out of earshot of the naysayers before anyone can wonder what happened.
5. Break the Mold
Did someone say ‘déjà vu’?
No, you’re not imagining things. We did include this above. And yes, it’s absolutely on purpose.
What was your first thought when you saw this subheading for the second time? Did you feel uneasy? Did you think it was wrong, or just downright stupid?
Good! We broke the goddamn rules. They get in the way and stop creativity in its tracks. That’s what you need to emulate as you set about disrupting your industries. Be crazy, and be creative. Be bold and break the mold.
6. Listen to Problems
Here’s a quick tip for idea generation.
Listen to the complaints of customers. What don’t they like? What do they wish they could do or see? What do they moan about?
Go to forums, read reviews, listen to podcasts and watch videos online. There are little golden nuggets of information around every corner.
Find out more about a product that’s addressed an issue and is disrupting an industry as you read.
7. Take Aim at a Target
Who is the industry leader in your field?
They may have ruled the roost for years. No-one else even tries to knock them off their pedestal. Until you came along. Remember, you’re a bull. Take aim and charge.
Targeting a competitor is like going to war. It’s a risky business. Win, and glory is yours. You stake your claim and immediately disrupt the status quo. Lose, and you’ll be laughed at and relegated to the history books…until next time.
Hyperbole aside, going into competition with an industry leader (with a competing product or service, etc) may be exactly what you need. It can help to raise awareness and cause a stir. Then it’s up to you to follow through.
Time to Get Disruptive
There you have it: 7 ways to disrupt an industry without an issue.
Some of the biggest companies in the world established their names through disruption of an industry. Like an athlete applying a whole new technique to an event, these companies, cause a ruckus that works in their favor.
This requires the ability to look at old problems with new eyes. It also requires the willingness to take a risk. Thankfully, with the right tactics, both are possible.
Hopefully, the information here has provided the ideas and inspiration to start disrupting your industries without further ado.
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