This post begins a series that will chew on a plateful of powerful ideas. They were presented by Thales Teixeira, a Harvard Business School professor, at the opening session of the 2017 New England Newspaper Convention.
The title of Teixeira’s talk was “Responding to Digital Disruption.” It held your humble host rapt. For the thought quickly occurred — by applying Teixeira’s ideas to our discussion about news models, we might actually get somewhere.
So here we go. We’ll start where Teixeira ended up. He concluded that:
- customers disrupt markets, not start-ups;
- the disruptive ingredient is business model innovation, not technology; and
- there is a common approach to disruption — it is not idiosyncratic.
In other words, there’s a pattern there.
In case after case, no matter what sort of business was targeted — from newspapers to big box retailers to service providers — Teixeira has found that digital disruptors succeed in the same way, for the same reasons.
Disruptors succeed because they find a way to:
- unbundle content that is traditionally offered together, or
- decouple the stages of consumption,
offering consumers, in both cases, something for less, in money, time or effort.
Just what the heck are the stages of consumption, you ask? You already know them: evaluate and compare, choose, purchase and consume. Each involves activities than can be only one of three types:
- an activity that creates value for the consumer,
- an activity that captures value for the producer, or
- an activity that erodes value for the consumer without capturing value for the producer.
Decoupling separates one activity from another.
It’s rich food that Teixeira dishes up. In the next posts here, we’ll review his lingo, explore his ideas and findings, and then apply it all to the business with which we are concerned: news. If you’d rather read Teixeira straight, visit his website and his working knowledge papers. But please return here to add to the conversation. Thanks!