Am I Supposed to Feel Sorry for the Giants?
It’s when I pick up books like my review copy of Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation , that I realize just how extreme of a corporate renegade I am.
So, before I begin this review, you need to know that I’m utterly and unapologetically biased toward the entrepreneurial small business. I relish the creativity and disruption an upstart inflicts on the giant brands and I equally relish the brand battle that takes place as the market leader returns the favor.
As I read through the book, it seemed to me (and I could be totally wrong here) that the book was written more for the big brands – so that they can protect themselves from the disruptors. Personally, this is not a book I would choose to read – because of my small business bias, BUT (and this is a big BUT) there is an important message here that I feel needs to get out to ALL businesses – at least if they want to be around for more than a few years.
Don’t Ignore the Disruption Evolution – It Can Bite You Back
My bias for the underdog small business aside, there is a tremendous amount of important reading inside of Big Bang Disruption. This is a book NOT to be taken lightly by ANY small business owner. In fact, if you’ve been a fan of the classic business thinkers and writers such as Michael Porter or books like The Innovator’s Dilemma and Blue Ocean Strategy (which I am) you need to read this book.
There is a significant amount of research that went into this book by Accenture Institute for High Performance that included extensive in-depth-interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and executives from more than thirty industries.
The New Era of Disruption in Four Stages
The authors have taken all this research and created a new model for disruption. One that goes beyond the research done in past years to include the impact of new technologies.
- Stage One: Competitive Advantage. This is the work done by Michael porter that advises companies to find their competitive advantage and differentiate themselves with features that justify a premium price, to optimize their efficiencies to sell at a lower price and to focus on one market.
- Stage Two: Bottom Up Disruption. This is the stage discussed by Clayton Christensen in The Innovator’s Dilemma. In this stage disruptors are using a bottom up strategy where they start at a lower price with fewer features.
- Stage Three: Re-Define the Market. Blue Ocean Strategy introduced this concept where disruptors completely redefined the market by redefining features and coming at mature businesses sideways.
- Stage Four: All Around Disruption. This is the stage that Big Bang Disruption is defining in detail. In this stage disruptors come at you on all fronts, top down, sideways and all around.
Why Nunes and Downes See the Big Picture
Paul Nunes (@BBDisruption ) is the Global Managing Director of Research at the Accenture Institute for High Performance and the senior contributing editor at Outlook, Accenture’s journal of thought leadership. His experience and work put him at the center of both big companies as well as smaller organizations and how they deal with industry and market conditions.
Larry Downes (@LarryDownes ) is an Internet industry analyst and author on the impact of disruptive technologies on business and policy. His first book Unleashing the Killer App, was one of the biggest business bestsellers of the early 2000’s.
Together, they’ve combined their skills, experiences and backgrounds to create a book no business owner, marketer or manager should ignore.