Friday, January 27, 2006

blog as disruptive technology

Everyone knows the blog is disruptive technology.

Blogs have disrupted politics (Trent Lott), television newscasting (Dan Rather), political parties (Howard Dean), repressive regimes (Iran, Ukraine), personal emotional health (Justin Hall), and human sanity (Vaspers the Grate).

Blogs disrupt journalism, grassroots activism, corporate culture (Microsoft, HP, Sun), and personal lives. Good parents guard their children from Blog Paranoia, Blog Psychosis, and Blog Narcissistic Collapse Syndrome, which are sometimes lumped together as Dysfunctional Blog Mania.

Disruptive technologies seem to fly against the flow, and thus, conventional corporate behavior and attitudes will generally be opposed to them.

Business As Usual will never be ready for The Blog Revolution, but some lucky companies will harnass the power of blogging, and their culture will *change* to accommodate this new way to reach customers and conduct non-invasive market research.

How do managers successfully use beneficial disruptive technology to gain a competetive edge?

First, smart managers and CEOs deliberately seek out technology their competitors are clueless about. To be the first in the industry to use a new (but disruptive) technology! Think of the press coverage, interviews, citations in books like Naked Conversations!

And this...


" (1) They embedded projects to develop and commercialize disruptive technologies within an organization whose customers needed them. When managers aligned a disruptive innovation with the 'right' customers, customer demand increased the probability that the innovation would get the resources it needed.

(2) They placed projects to develop disruptive technologies in organizations small enough to get excited about small opportunities and small wins.

(3) They planned to fail early and inexpensively in the search for the market for a disruptive technology. They found that their markets generally coalesced through an iterative process of trial, learning, and trial again.

(4) When commercializing disruptive technologies, they found or developed new markets that valued the attributes of the disruptive products, rather than search for a technological breakthrough so that the disruptive product could compete as a sustaining technology in mainstream products."

--Clayton M. Christensen
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
(Harvard Business School Press, 1997, p. 99)


I don't think we blog consultants and blog marketers are taking seriously enough how blogs are disruptive.

But--when you think about how much *time* it takes to be a decent, popular, effective blog operator, you realize how blogs have disrupted your own life.

I keep goading the business world and the blogosphere, saying that business will NEVER blog, unless a MIRACLE occurs: a radical revolutionary change in corporate culture and a new consumer-friendly attitude expressed in a keen desire to form two way, candid, highly responsive conversations with the public.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

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