How to Thrash Leaders in Your Industry through Disruptive Innovation12 May, 2015 / Articles
Examples of disruption are everywhere. In fact, the most constant and ubiquitous attribute of our free enterprise system would have to be disruption, where Company A disrupts (or interrupts) the flow of money from Company B’s customers by attracting those customers through some improvement in value, quality, speed, service, ease-of-use, niche focus, pain relief, elegant solution, etc. These various improvements all fit under the umbrella of innovation. Every business leader wants employees who can innovate to help the business become more competitive and gain a larger portion of available revenue (market share). And any employee who can learn how to innovate can write his/her own ticket with regard to upward career mobility.
So, how can you promote disruptive innovation within your company? This article is the first in a series on disruptive innovation. Each article will highlight one or more companies that are taking on well-established industry leaders. My goal will be to show how they are doing it, in the hope that readers might adopt some of their methods. Here’s the first example:
Woozy Moo is a toy store startup that is playing in the big leagues. With competitors like Wal-Mart and ToysRUs, you might not be inclined to place a sizable bet on this seeming underdog. But remember, disruptive innovation is rarely determined by relative size. We should instead look for an improvement that might offer Woozy Moo a legitimate shot at success. Hai Tiet (pronounced Hi T’eat), Founder and Chief Woozy, makes his case, “We serve markets that the big guys ignore. Mainstream toy sellers under serve special needs kids who are hearing impaired, blind, autistic, or who have other challenges such as cerebral palsy.” As it turns out, there is a demand for these and other unique toy categories. There is also a selection of science-related toys, which appealed to me because a family member, Conner, has a strong interest in electronics, and I have had a difficult time in the past finding gifts for him.
Whether Woozy Moo can disrupt or even compete remains to be seen, but offering niche products to an otherwise ignored market segment is a tried-and-true disruption method that might also work in your industry. I know one thing: In a couple of days I’ll take delivery on a brand-new Solar Rover that will be the perfect gift on Conner’s next birthday.