Disruptive Innovations Are Most Likely To Succeed

Disruptive innovations are most likely to succeed if there is a strong focus on satisfying under-appreciated customers' needs. In the professional services industry, many clients cannot find or afford services at the big firms and many professionals are looking at different way to offer, charge or deliver their expertise.

It is a way to take a service that has traditionally been expensive and complicated for many people, and make it accessible and affordable. It has been found that clients have 4 priorities, ie price, responsiveness, efficient discovery and transparency. For UpCounsel, which is experiencing transactional revenue growth of around 20% monthly (2015), its clients range from start-ups (help with trademarks, etc) to medium-size enterprises needing assistance with contracts, etc. An UpCounsel's client posts a brief and within an hour its platform has located several best matches for the client to make the final selection. Once the hiring decisions is  made, UpCounsel handles administration including billing. The client can check in real time how much the professional is charging and for what. This means that anybody can easily discover high-quality, community-rated professionals with the right skills for the job.

For large projects and assignments where multiple parties are involved, like multi-million dollar mergers, it is less clear how the virtual marketplace can compete owing to the mass in-person collaboration required. it is anticipated that the larger global firms still dominate this end of the market while the boutique and midmarket firms will suffer the most from online competition. 

Skilledbridge started in 2013 and by 2015 it had a portfolio of more than 5,000 consultants who have years of experience in leading organisations

In the 1930s when Ronald Coase (Botsman, 2015c) stated that large organisations make sense when it is more efficient for buyers and sellers to coordinate activities through a centralised hierarchy than to purchase services directly. On the other hand, with the Internet's power to directly connect seller and buyer, there is less need for the traditional firm's structure.

It is claimed that 

- 1 in 3 Americans are independent workers

- freelancers will outnumber full-time staff by 2020

- millennials change jobs on average 6.3 times between the age of 18 and 25 (Botsman, 2015c)

In addition to technology allowing people to work remotely, there is a mindset change about how people think about work and the notion of a good job. This mindset values independence, flexibility and freedom to do work in line to their interests and values. People feel in control of their destiny. This is different from working for a large firm where you are assign to projects regardless of your interests.

"...Millennials are willing to trade off a steady income and the benefits of full-time employment, healthcare to a fridge full of soda, or flexibility and autonomy..."

Rachael Neumann as quoted by Botsman, 2015c

The trend to a more flexible workforce means that the rules and regulations around taxes, insurance, sick pay and benefits, etc need to be revisited. Other areas that need revisiting are 

- handling the risk associated with the assignment

- on demand jobs could lead to greater commodification or hyper-specialisation of labour

- income will become less predictable and secure, more prone to fluctuation

"...traditional firms should be worried, very worried. Never mind being the next Kodak, Blockbuster or Borders - today's challenge is to not be the next taxi or hotel company that misses out how fast and deep transformation is happening, because technology is pushing and pulling apart 20th-century models of labour and services..."

Botsman, 2015c

.Linked with the technology are the values and cultures that you promote in your organisation to maximise the benefits of the technology, ie working more effectively and efficiently, unlocking value, contributing to productivity, encouraging creativity and innovation, etc


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