It seems when looking at disrupted industries you see the familiarity of a false sense of comfort. When products decline in need, they also decline in value. Those two things are tied together. Value propositions are hypnotic; they can hijack the common-sense of reality during market shifts causing the disease of Product-Centric Thinking.
The speed of innovation disrupting a deliverables current circumstances continues increasing. Today innovation not only changes the customer’s desired outcome. Innovation also changes the customers means to the desired outcome. These innovative changes to the means are what causes the collapse or, the massive disruption to legacy deliverables.
An example of disruption:
People still hire vehicles to take them from point A to point B. However, many of the traditional means to this achievement were utterly disrupted. The value proposition of the Taxi industry and Car Rental industry is now a whole lot less valuable to the many who left for the better experience provided by the rideshare deliverable.
Don’t let your perception of your value-add become out of alignment with your customer's viewpoint. More importantly, don’t make the mistake your perception is correct. Things continually modify with or without the permissions of those threaten by the results of the modification. Sooner or later the way the customer wants to achieve their desired outcomes will in-fact modify.
Many Innovators are re-inventing the outdated means to those customer desired outcomes. Innovators who focus on the customer’s desired outcome are Customer Centric. They can think backward from the outcome the product provides to the means of its achievement. They understand it’s not the product which has value it’s the desired outcome a product provides which customers value. Those who focus on the product are, A Product-Centric mindset which starts at the product putting the product ahead of the customer. Product-Centric organizations will insist that the product itself has the value and will ignore the realities of their customers.
Our friends in the Taxi Industry continue to be Product-Centric. They refuse to focus on the customers desired outcome so, as Uber celebrates its 10th Birthday. The taxi industry has done nothing to re-invent themselves watching their value continue to decline. The arguments we hear from the taxi industry are all about why the new way sucks. The taxi industry will continue fading into oblivion if they keep focusing on the product instead of the means to the desired outcome the product provides.
Can your deliverable be disrupted? Of course, it will be.
One of the hardest things for any value-added sales and service organization. Is reacting in time when their customers become out of alignment with them regarding their value. They waste time arguing why continuing to deliver the past is better than anything the future could deliver to the present.
A company becomes obsolete when it focuses on delivering the past to the future instead of delivering the future to the present.
The industry I am close to referred to as The Document Imaging Industry is itself in threat of an unknown disruptor welcoming its customers. Many in its ranks focus on the products, not the products desired outcomes, or the means to reach those desired outcomes. This Product-Centric thinking is causing many distractions to real threats. Many in the imaging Channel misunderstand that their product is also how they deliver and service as much as what they deliver.
Those whose delivery mechanism gets disrupted only built a defense against competitors they knew while refusing to imagine new competitors; competitors who don’t follow the battlefield rules of the old way and until now have never been in the old ways landscape. So, when they do come they surprise everyone who was unimaginative and unprepared.
Without the ability to imagine what could be we are limited to what it was or currently is. The unknown competitors are merely unimagined, and it’s better to introduce yourself to them in your imagination before they present themselves to your customers.
When a business limits their beliefs to what ’s possible, they face what the innovator saw as probable.
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