In the Digital Age, the Balance of Power has Shifted
The Davids have taken over from the Goliaths
Throughout the Industrial Age, Monoliths have formed, the Goliath’s, who built on their size and access to resources to keep smaller companies at bay. This was called competitive advantage.
…But then something happened. The David’s have started to take control.
The Goliaths like to call this shift “Digital Transformation”.
But the Truth is, this Transformation is about much more than just Digital.
The transfer of control from the Goliaths to the Davids inaugurates a new era of business.
It has been caused by a plentitude of trends across Business, Innovation and Culture.
“Digital”, as it is called, is just the driver. The effects of digital change extend to a reshaping of how products are being built and distributed and to how consumers interact, communicate and select those products.
We as consumers not only went from shopping in a retail store to ordering online and mobile. We also shifted from buying products to obtaining the same offering as services. We started to communicate not only with websites, but also with apps and increasingly with bots. Along the way we also have switched sides, having become hotel operators, full-time content producers, curators as we host AirBnB guests, and as we record, like, share and comment on social media platforms.
As a result of technology developments and outsourcing opportunities, the physical quality of most products is at an equal level. Most hardware components have been commoditised.
Who wins when all products appear equal?
Building cars has become a software task. The biggest marketing agency of today started out as a social network. It’s key asset is the data that it collects about our behaviour. We are talking about Facebook of course. Similarly, the success of our movie and music stores is now driven by their data science capabilities. If in doubt, then have look at Netflix’s recruiting site. And of course, the ‘hotel’ business AirBnB, does not operate hotels.
Who wins when Competitive Advantages become Intangible?
With various trends coming together, we have entered an Era of Complexity and of Wicked Problems.
This era of complexity poses new rules on business success. A one-track mindsets of incumbents, and ignorance of the need to change have opened the floor for Davids to win.
“Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools and yesterday’s concepts.”
The Davids outsmart incumbents despite their limited resources but with resourcefulness instead.
They have dropped the old rulebook and adapted their perspective to our evolving landscape.
Update to the New Landscape
It is impossible to talk about Digital Transformation without leaving behind the rules from the Industrial Age.
The big shifts across the Business Innovation and Culture force us to reconsider how the Success Factors of businesses have changed and how companies need to operate today.
We need to understand which types of value propositions, business models and business structures enable success today and how we can best apply them to our businesses.
A New Operating System
Let’s envision the Rules of Business as an Operating System which Companies need operate. This Operating System has been updated as we have moved from the Industrial Age into the Digital Age.
What happens once an Operating System is updated on our computer? To enable the smooth operation and compatibility we also need to update the Application Software. In Business, this Application Software is our understanding of new business models and of their competitive advantages.
Yet, while most companies are aware of the overhaul of the Operating System – the transformation of the business environment – they have failed to update their Business Thinking – their Application Software – accordingly.
Let’s Crack the Code of this new era of Complexity.
Let’s level up our Strategic Perspectives.
We have provided a 3-Step Update Program for you, providing you with an inside understanding of this new era, offering a playbook for change, and preparing you for this major power shift.
The Program highlights the key transformations of our business ecosystem. We will see what the new success factors are and how sustainable they are. We will also explore whether and why new types of business models work, and how the unit economics of businesses are changing.
This Program is for those who are serious about getting one step ahead by understanding the bigger picture and for those who are curious to see the connections between different disciplines. If this sounds like you, then welcome aboard.
Who we are:
The Program has been developed by BIClabs founder, Martin Hoffmann. As a former private equity professional, he not only has unique insights into the patterns of success factors of businesses from a board level perspective, but he also learned to be quick to see what’s relevant and what isn’t.
As a former private equity professional, our founder Martin Hoffmann had to be quick to see what’s relevant and what isn’t from the beginning of his career. Throughout this career, he analyzed and worked with a variety of companies across industries. This gave him unique insights into the patterns of success factors of businesses from a board level perspective. Even more important, it also helped him develop the ability to see connections between different fields. His personal curiosity for the world as well as his street photography add to his observation skills, helping him watch life and transformation from different vantage points.
We are supported by our AI bot. His current position is to support our human intelligence. Consider him to be the intern for the moment. But we are busy training him to take on more tasks so that we can hopefully promote him to a VP role by the middle of 2018.