Disruption might be a buzz word in the industry, but what does it actually mean? Kai Riemer an associate professor at the University of Sydney chats with B&T about why disruption shouldn’t be applied to every change and why incumbents are screwed.
Riemer recently co-authored Digital Disruptive Intermediaries report which examined the ways in which digital disruptors challenge incumbents and what this means for established companies, how to find the opportunities that it creates and defend against the threats of disruption.
“Disruption has become a free-for-all,” Riemer told B&T. “Anything and everything is now being classed as disruption which is kind of missing the point of talking about the actual real disruptions which are far rarer then people would normally believe.”
“A disruption to an industry is a non-linear change, it’s a change that breaks the path on which an industry has been progressing and developing its products, ideas or understanding of the industry, what is a valuable product, what consumers want etc.”
For Riemer, disruption is about ‘disclosing new worlds’ for the consumer. “Disruption is not just incremental change but changes which let us recognise that there is a different world to be created.”
For example the MP3 fundamentally changed how we consume music. “An MP3 is still inferior in terms of sound quality compared to CDs, but it no longer matters. What matters now about music is that it’s instantly available, portable, mobile, and digital. It’s no longer bound to the CD medium.
“The disruption is our understanding of what ‘music’ is. So it’s not that the product has become better but the understanding of what is good and bad has changed.”
So how can incumbents battle against shifts in our collective understanding of a product?
“Here’s the difficulty for the incumbent: they cannot make sense of the disruptor because it’s against their understanding of what counts as the industry.” This isn’t the incumbents fault, it’s a very human flaw; “for the fish it doesn’t make sense to challenge the idea of the water, because there is no other thing than being in the water.
“So incumbents have a hard time making sense of the disruption and imagining that it could actually lead to a way of doing business that not just offers a different product but a completely different way of looking at your own industry.”
Please login with linkedin to commentJoshua Spanier
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]