How to recognize and take advantage of disruptive opportunities

I recently came across this very interesting video on “How to Recognize Disruptive Opportunities” featuring a conversation between author/Altimeter Group’s Brian Solis and Mark Suster (@msuster), serial entrepreneur turned VC. In about 18 minutes, the conversation covers a range of disruption-related topics from open systems (Twitter) vs. closed systems (Facebook), to how to get enterprises to innovate. Mark has a ton of experience and insights on innovation and many are spot on. I particularly liked his views on the need for digital natives in the board room. In my experience, innovative ideas are wasted on an organization which doesn’t have the people and resources to implement it. This is not to say that innovative ideas shouldn’t be explored, but equal attention must be paid to the “how” of the new product or system. Disruptive innovation is never about the biggest idea. It is about the effect the idea has on the industry it’s released within, and that can’t be seen until it’s rolled out in some form. The sooner an organization can start prototyping and beta testing, the sooner the innovation can become disruptive. The idea of prototyping and iteration is hard coded (hehe!) into the work-style of digital natives and this perspective is key to bringing disruptive innovations to life in today’s industries. As Mark mentions, the uncertainty and hesitance to pursue a disruptive opportunity is softened by having a digital native on the executive team. Oh, and what makes a digital native? Well, it’s NOT their age, but rather their experience and perspective.