Pathways to growth: you have a few choices

When you look at the pathways to building new capabilities, solving product-market fit, jobs-to-be-done and ultimately growing your business, there are a few different pathways.

Often the pathway of the leader is to First create efficiencies, explore and discover new ideas and eventually build new capabilities. This is traditionally the much longer path taking anywhere from 3 upwards of ten years to deliver on the promise.  It’s deliberate and it’s efficient. At the end of the day you get to efficiencies that are valuable and solve customer needs. You also build an incredible market and own a lot of market share. This works quite well as long as a disrupter does not emerge as an employee the concepts of disruptive innovation.

Disruptive innovation did not emerge, one could argue, in the smartphone market. The leaders created efficiencies, discovered and explored, and built in those new capabilities over a long time period. This incremental methodology requires data sources that are reliable and sound.

Emerging companies disrupt the existing entities primarily through time-to-market. If they took just as long as the incumbent, it would not be disruptive. Take for example Parrot, the company that built the first drone for the consumer market.  They had a great idea but their time to innovate was so slow and so costly that an emergent competitor easily wiped them out of the consumer marketplace.  Even though they were creative, they were not disruptive. How odd.

Disruptors tend to find data in non-traditional ways.  Having built a few disruptive companies, you had no choice but to look for non-traditional ways to build and sell products. By finding data sources that are empowering, you could quickly satisfy why people buy and speed product to market at a never faster clip.

None of this changes because of a pandemic.  Needs might change but personalities and traits don’t.  Products may change but the fundamental reasons why we buy don’t change. Companies that focus on efficiencies during a time when data reliability is low extend the time it takes to create those efficiencies. Cutting back is not efficiency, it’s reduction of capabilities.  

As companies explore and discover new products and markets whether it be existing customers, adjacent or new customers must employ better sources of non-traditional data to build capabilities faster.  

Some basic check list items:

Are you focused on efficiencies?

So much so, that you might be open to disruption?

How much effort are you doing to explore and discover adjacent and new markets?

How long does it take you to build in new capabilities and start selling to new customers who will take chances on your new products?

Have you found non-traditional data sources that predict why people buy?

Are you willing to change the business model?

These are just a few questions that you should ask yourself as you embrace change. There are many more and there’s a sequential order of where to start first. As always, I welcome questions and comments. I love looking at business models and welcome your questions.

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