I study disruptive technology, specifically innovative technology that gains so much momentum that it disrupts markets and ultimately businesses. In the past several years, disruptive technology has become so pervasive that I’ve had to further focus my work on studying only disruptive technologies that are impacting customer and employee behavior, expectations and values and affecting customer and employee experiences. I can hardly keep up with today let alone consider the potential disruption that looms ahead in every sector imaginable including new areas that will emerge and displace laggard perspectives, models and processes.
It’s everywhere. I live in Silicon Valley where many say that the terms disrupt and disruption have become buzzwords. Pundits believe that the word is losing its promise and impact through the acts and examples of entrepreneurs and businesses that misuse the word to describe intentions rather than associating it with a desired or natural effect.
In some of the startup meetings I attend for example, digital disruption is actually a stated business objective. Instead of “killing it” or “crushing it” many businesses are aiming now to disrupt it!
Jon Swartz is a veteran technology reporter based in Silicon Valley currently covering emerging and disruptive tech at USA Today. This is the second time we’ve invited him to Revolution. His take on news trends is less about hype and more about how technology impacts everyday business and society. Sometimes technology is the solution as much as it is part of the problem. For consumers, the ability to use mobile, social and the web is not only enlivening real-time experiences, it’s also delivering immediacy to e-commerce and social commerce.
The digital landscape continues to undergo a significant shift that will have profound effects on business this year. The challenge is that hardly any business leaders noticed. That’s not their fault however. Even through the impact of technology on business and consumer behavior was widely reported, in depth reports on what to do next or how this will affect their business specifically were scant at best.
Disruptive technology is the bearer of tremendous opportunity and equally a harbinger of obsolescence. Technology’s impact on society and business is substantial, if not underestimated. As technology continues to become part of everyday life, it becomes disruptive in how people communicate, work, and connect. The evolution of society and technology happens with or without adaptation or understanding. And, it’s contributing to a very real phenomenon of Digital Darwinism, a situation where organizations are faced with a need to adapt to markets and customer behavior or risk a loss in favor, competitive advantage or worse, irrelevance.
Jon Swartz is a veteran journalist who has covered Silicon Valley’s highs and lows over the years. As Swartz says, he’s seen it all and along the way, he’s chronicled not only the events but its impact on business, culture, and society. Jon joins us on (R)evolution to discuss disruptive technology, what it means and what’s next.
Please take a moment to watch and let us know your thoughts…
Change is inevitable, but it is rarely easy. Among the greatest difficulties associated with change is the ability to even recognize its need at a time when we can actually do something about it. Sometimes, when we finally realize that change is inevitable, the vision or energy needed to push forward in a new direction is elusive. Or worse, when competitors recognize the need for change before us, we are by default pushed into a precarious position where our next steps become impulsive rather than strategic.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. More so, he humanizes technology’s causal effect to help people see people differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation and innovation.