I recently read Clayton M. Christensen’s Mastering the art of disruptive innovation in journalism, a collaboration with David Skok. Just like my title, i’ll try my best to sum it up and break it down into less words.
The article has three parts, or key steps for advice.
One: Always consider the audience first.
Probably one of the biggest parts in entrepreneurship. Journalism, hospitality, a hot dog stand–doesn’t matter. Always consider the audience first.
How do you know if you have a business if you don’t study your customers, or target market. You don’t, you won’t and you will NEVER make it. You are a pro now. Business owner . . . get it? Unless you have some fortune you are sitting on, this is your life now. Get serious.
Do the research, it’s pretty easy now-a-days. Something called the Internet. Look up what people like, see what is trendy, what the customer needs, what you need, what will make life a little easier? America is lazy as hell. If a product can cut down sometime on a daily routine, people will probably buy it. We all do, all to blame. Guess we wouldn’t be so mad if we were the ones are making some money off it
Two: When times change, change your business.
Christensen and Skok are saying, in a way, be adaptable. Time is moving so fast right now, the future is today and tomorrow is a scary thought. Technology is on the move, the new “big-thing” is a thing of the past. Literally. Things come and go so quickly that it is hard to really establish yourself in the pros. So, you must adapt.
Be on top of everything. Be the king of innovation. You have to adapt into what your customer needs. Go where the money is. Like after college you go where the work is . . . you have have to go where your business is needed. Any way you can make that happen, whether it is online, in-person, on paper, etc.
Your business must adapt, your business has to adapt, otherwise it won’t survive as a pro.
Three: Build capabilities for a new world.
If you followed steps one and two, you should have a successful business by now. If you haven’t even started, I wouldn’t even look at step three.
Basically, I took step three as a expanding your business, or what more can you do? How can you go even further than your competitors. You are trying to be the “now-thing”. Think long term, technologies that don’t even exist yet. Something you can create that no one else has. Something that revolutionizes the game. You would be the player that changed the game.
Christensen and Skok did a great job with this article, and I think it can really help anyone that wants to start a business, in any industry. It’s good advice. I think they could have cut down a couple of lines, but it is good. The relate to popular businesses like IBM and IKEA, throw in some humor here and there.
If you really are considering starting a business, you should hear them out.