5 Tips For Becoming A Disruptive & Innovative Startup

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Tech is booming and with that trend innovation is growing exponentially. If you truely want to stand out & turn your idea into an innovative startup you should follow these 5 tips:

Today’s innovations are in the midst of a revolution being driven by the exponential advances in digital technologies. More and more startup companies are creating disruptive products that are more user-friendly and cheaper than existing products. As a result, entire product lines and markets are either being created or destroyed overnight.

Once Big-Bang Disrupters enter the market, there is no stopping them. They deliver one blow after another to established, incumbent businesses in their industries thanks to three defining characteristics: creative development, unimpeded growth, and willful strategy.

No business or industry is safe from it and that includes hard-asset businesses. Consider the impact of new smart phone-based apps such as Lyft and Uber on traditional taxi and limousine services. These new businesses allow customers to order and pay for rides via their smart phone, track dispatched rides using location services and pick and choose which driver they want to drive with based on ratings and type of car they drive.

The following are five tips to help you become a disruptive & innovative startup:

#1 – Don’t Get Caught Up In The Moment

It is important to look past the novelty years and to come up with strategies that will help you survive in the long run. Businesses that survive longer not only bring consumers exciting new capabilities [updates], but do so while successfully adapting to the way they live and work.

#2 – Listen To Your Customers

Encourage your customers to interact with you and provide you with feedback on how you can make your product or service adaptive to their needs. Very often businesses do not solicit their customers’ opinions because they do not know how to go about in setting up the process or think that obtaining customer comments will make things too complicated.

Listening to customers could be as simple as adding a live chat app on your website or sending out internet surveys to existing customers every year. You could also get creative and host a live forum or social media chat where customers can engage with you and your innovative startup team. However, for that you will need a structure and agenda otherwise the event/chat will seem disorganized and nothing meaningful will come of it.

#3 – Get Out And About

You would be amazed by how many people are influenced by what’s around them. The most fruitful environments are ones that encourage people to collide and to have conversations. You can think of that internally, colliding with your staff members, classmates or colleagues, but also consider it as colliding with your customers, particularly in an environment where they are used to using your product and service and making purchasing decisions. You can read all the reports you want on your customer – but there is no substitute for feeling what they are feeling. You cannot feel what they are feeling if you don’t get out there and observe.

#4 – Don’t Expect People To Say Yes Right Away

Innovation is tough! So what are you going to do about it? You have to see through the eyes of your naysayers. What’s causing them to say no? Is it that they don’t understand the purpose of your idea? Is it that they cannot see how the idea will be useful for them? Do they feel the idea will fail? These are all perfectly valid reasons for saying no.  Be ready to answer their questions, but do not expect them to change their minds right away. Give them some breathing room and space to think things through.

#5 – Be Prepared For Success

Success often comes at the least expected time. That is what we call catastrophic success. Very often it hits you blindly in the face. The last thing you or your company needs is to have customers at your door and your products/services are simply not ready for them to take home.

Take an ad-supported version of the game Angry Birds as the perfect example. It was downloaded over a million times in the first 24 hours it was available on Android devices. However, that number might have been higher had the developer’s server not crashed. Seven months later the game had been downloaded more than 200 million times. Can you imagine what those numbers would have been like if the server did not crash? Can you imagine how much business they lost simply because they weren’t prepared for catastrophic success? Do not let it happen to you.

How To Survive A Big Bang Disruption Once You Become A Disruptor

Nothing about the disruptive products or services is particularly hard to duplicate for any startup or incumbent. But the common response of incumbents so far has been to convince lawmakers to ban the new entrants rather than figure out how to create a competitive advantage. That response is both predictable and stereotypical. At the same time, it is also counterproductive. Customers are quick to galvanize through social media to fight back—so far, successfully. You will not win over customers by making choices for them – choices that they do not want you to make for them.

It is also important to note that big-bang disruptions are often unplanned and unintentional. They are typically discovered through continuous market experimentation. In order to survive in this ultra-competitive business world, you should always have a backup plan and never go about your business blindly. Doing so will leave you in a vulnerable state of being attacks by big bang disruptors. No exceptions – incumbent and disruptive startups can both be affected by this.




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Photo credit: br1dotcom via Visual Hunt / CC BY