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A Framework For Assessing Whether A Company Can Prosper In A Digital Economy: Part 2

Since the early 2000’s the internet has really taken off. It has also brought about lots of changes in the way that business is done and how companies function.

Fast forward to 2017 and nowadays prudent investors look for a company’s digital strategy as one of the key factors when making an investment decision. It is well known now that a company without a digital strategy or a poor one is less likely to grow fast enough, even if it survives.

I recently read “Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler. The authors touched on these six key aspects that companies need to address, if they want to continue to survive and even grow.

Having looked at the first two D’s, Digitalization and Deception, let’s look at the next two.

Editor’s note: An article touching on the last two D’s has been published. It can be found here.

The third “D” is Disruption. As the author states: “In simple terms, a disruptive technology is any innovation that creates new market and disrupts an existing one. Unfortunately, as disruption always follows deception, the original technological threat often seems laughably insignificant”.

The best example in my mind is the smartphone. They were launched around 2007. Initially sales based on units sold were less than impressive.

But, if anyone mistook those rather small numbers as a sign that the product had failed, then they were in for a rude awakening. Smart phones became increasingly more popular with every new model by different companies, especially those on the android and iOS platforms.

Companies that were quick to spot the trend for the Android or iOS platforms survived and can still be seen. Other went bankrupt and closed down, when, before the smart phone era, these companies were one of the biggest in the mobile phone industry.

This example is probably one that everyone can relate to. It also highlights another line in the book “Either disrupt yourself of be disrupted by someone else”.

The fourth “D” is Demonetization. This is when something that you had to pay for the in past is now free. There are many examples around us currently.

Let’s look at one which is rather easy to spot. In the past, the photography industry survived from the sale of films. But now in the digital era, these are no longer required. All your photos are taken on a digital camera or a phone that are free.

When something goes from being rather expensive to being free, its only human nature for people flock to it. While this might sound simple, companies are making money through other means by giving you a free service.

Many more such demonetized products are around us, we just don’t realise it.

These are the next two D’s in the list of six. Having looked at four of the six “D”s so far, stay tuned for the next instalment of “D”s that are required by new age companies in the Digital economy.

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Essay does not own any shares mentioned in this article.