Digital brings the best, digital brings the worst. Looking at storms that came on music and movies, in peer-to-peer downloading, while others tried to impose DRM, no one did the real comparison between positive effects or negative ones, on macro economics keys. Some say it could have save jobs, or created ones. Others complain about unability to move and accept such shift for employees. What we can say, for sure, is stay on facts and figures, about rise of digital behaviours, in our daily lives.
- innovation is “adding something”, in use, behaviours that is waited, wished (or not), or that change the way we do, or think about things
- digital brought us things we accepted (useful), others we didn’t (not relavant or too early): and that’s life, innovation is a cycle and it’s not an automatic process, it’s a part of mystery and seduction
- digital is often (and unfortunately) first lived like a threat than an opportunity: because lots of industries built their business model and structured it on brick-and-mortar models, and the speed how they move is too slow (when if/they decide to…)
- digital is a change of DNA for things and services, before it could be possible on humans (!);
Traditional moves and behaviours
Meanwhile digital could transform everything, old skills and industries are trying to understand what is going to change in their value chain, how they are going to manage it, and if they have interest or no, to move anything toward digital world. We all know it’s easier not to do anything vs doing something we can’t understand/afford: risk doesn’t pay first but often in a long shift. Some shareholders can’t (don’t) want such a time. But for such actors, it can be really dangerous: letting door open to new comers, that have fresh and bright ideas and can burst the value to their interests. Innovating, not too early, but not too late. Music, in its former shape, that at the time invested in distribution a lot, has been completely disorganized by the digital fact. Video and movies, trying to bring some sense in the go-between with “DRM” and “piracy”, live a real revolution of mobility, in the “anytime, anywhere, any device” triple A social move. Books finally, after being the first thing that has been shifted to digital (remember pdf forms, long time ago…), is the last stuff to come: but longer than it seems, because of the market. Those who are in the market, I mean customers, do they really need now digital books? what for? for all books formats? on which devices? answers to come, while Amazon Kindle’s DRM just been cracked…
Then digital entered the dance
We are digital. We live digital. DNA is digital. So what?
While all these things happen, did we identify what are the changes in uses we can trust, replicate and appreciate, those we can say they are innovation. Some of them for sure, but none of all…You, tomorrow, forget about all your digital devices and try to imagine your life without. Is it better or worse? Which value, attention pay you to such innovation, how do you evaluate it, what is your level of frustration? In a way, I can say I’m a geek, but not for tech, but because I’m curious, discovering new things, trying always the big picture. Enjoying innovation and design. I just ordered a new device called “chumby“. Really interested in this new kind of “all-in-one” device, portable, mobile, always wired stuff. Will it serve me, do I need it. Of course or probably, no…But it opens my mind to new ways of thinking, giving chance to brain to solve and consider differently problems and solutions. IDEO company manages this really brightly. They know how to forget what they know and start again. Discovering, being pushed and engaged with technologies. Does it need to have sense in a short term result? No. Because it’s a mindset quest. Something that disturbs our comfortable life. Something unavoidable, valuable. The ability and duty to search for more, bursting borders and conformism. And that is sufficient, for me, to move mountains and stay motivated…
What did the web and UGC?
Now we can communicate (!). More and more, between us. And that changed all. Digital period means digital behaviors and shifts from a single way communication to multi actors communities. I’ve already described how social web changed us here among several opinions in the blogosphere. Web drove modern retail to innovate, or even to think about it: some achieved, some still search. For customer’s choice, happiness and service. And UGC opened discussion and creation for everyone, by everyone. Entering in, blowing frontiers out of the limits, making anyone a anonymous speaker, creator, for web window. Do we leverage now the infinite power of digital? Look at such interactive facts that are now so natural, that we learnt to live with?
Potential escape and actors: the next value chains?
Companies, Customers and Communities: the three “C” model, where every actor has a clever role to play. Customers may take advantage of digital opportunities, by the way they probably do it yet. Because in using communities and social web, they have a large advantage in sharing and grabbing information: quick and reliable, they know how to handle. Because they are part of communities, they play a role in moderation for others new customers.
Companies must learn to play with them, not with an eye on the pocket wallet, but with a big ear, to listen what is all about and what cares for a customer: to be understood. There’s probably a concrete frustration, with the fact that disruptive innovation (from Innovator’s Dilemma by C. Christensen) could not exist: we need firms that take risk to deliver and to jump into unknown pleasures. Disruptive means invisible profits, unknown markets and needs, and uncertainty about ROI. It needs a lot of motivation to shift, for a big company, from comfortable situation to darkness. In a way, that’s nowadays our goal to convince companies to jump into 2.0 behaviors. But one thing I’m sure about, is that the revolution must be lead with all of three actors: companies, customers and communities. They are all aware about what’s going on, and can all find their tomorrow needs. Even if it’s only whispered, digital era comes with next generation Y and Z, and boost companies process, behaviors and customers needs facing their choices: going or not, refuse or go ahead, with something sometimes strange, sometimes crazy, but not boring. Shifts have to come in the next value chains for companies, and time is running out, need to change and transform their business, while they are sometimes blind with disruptive effects. Or do we want to live in a dork world, fearing of progress to come, without trying to capture the large opportunities it brings? Never mind about judge anyone, but enlightning what is already there…