By Tom Jacobsson
- 6 minute read
Although we see a lot of traditional business verticals facing unknown and disruptive forces, our conclusion is that disruption becomes a negative force only if you choose to ignore it. At Dunning, Kruger & Associates we prefer the term transformation.
Change is constant. So is adaptation. Change and disruption are natural outcomes of adopting emerging technologies and new business models, which— unsurprisingly—override legacy solutions. Unleashing the next wave of innovation translates to faster, less expensive and more convenient end-user experiences and services which people will prefer for obvious reasons. We’re past even trying to deny that. The most adaptive players embrace change as a constant and are even ready to cannibalize some of their existing business to keep up with the pace.
Industry borders are not as clear as they used to be. In these changing conditions, redefining your value proposition and entire business operations becomes the norm. Regardless of how great your company or industry was in the past, the same might not be true a year later. But you will still have your customers whom you can serve better, either by complementing an existing offering or by building something completely new.
Innovation therefore becomes a strategic survival tool for many companies. Just as importantly, interaction with potential end-users, humans, becomes crucial. You need the early adopters, people who are willing to try out your new ideas. Building this feedback loop with real users is the only way to guarantee that your investment in the future is not purely based on assumptions and guesswork.
Focusing on solving even a small problem might open up a window of opportunity for you. The author of Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen, realized already 20 years ago that the classical disruption scenario starts from the least profitable low end. In his view, the window of opportunity opens to challengers in well-established businesses where incumbents are focusing on the most valuable high-end customers, with the most demanding needs. This scenario typically means that most customers aren’t served optimally.
“Entrants that prove disruptive begin by successfully targeting those overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality — frequently at a lower price. Incumbents, chasing higher profitability in more-demanding segments, tend not to respond vigorously.
Entrants then move upmarket, delivering the performance that incumbents’ mainstream customers require, while preserving the advantages that drove their early success. When mainstream customers start adopting the entrants’ offerings in volume, disruption has occurred.”
What Can We Do For You?
We help our clients navigate these stormy waters. We help them clarify environments and explore new fields of business and value creation that have or possibly will become available to them.
Together with our clients, we find answers to the following questions:
- How to improve the competitiveness of existing products and services in a changing market situation? Which of these services continue to be viable in the future,which have exhausted their potential?
- How to utilize change itself in the creation of new service concepts? How has the operative environment changed and what new expectations have been set by the competitive situation — specifically, we are looking for the answer to the following simple question: what types of products and services do the customers expect, to what end and through which channels?
- How can we mobilize our strategy through new business models, products, and services?
- Twiddly lines form organized lines. Magic.
We often find ourselves in a situation where the client does not necessarily have a clear or even a vague idea of what to do. They are essentially standing at the crossroads of a new world — with years of experience and success behind them, the unknown future up ahead.
In most of our assignments, we need to clarify and turn an unknown future into a tangible reality. Determining the outlines of the potential future, we develop ideas for new business models, products, and services. These ideas are turned into prototypes, pre-commercial products, and finally operations at the production level. As a company, we want to master the development of unknown futures into tangible realities. This is our mission; a task we have passionately committed ourselves to.
The Difference With Us
Unlike many other creative agencies/studios, we are able to concretize new ideas and concepts into functioning products and services even within weeks of their conception. If you have no idea, we can help with that. When it makes sense, we’re very fast. When deeper thought and strategy is needed, we’re still pretty damn fast. We utilize traditional design thinking, prototyping, and agile development principles. For us, however, these phases are typically not done in a linear process — they often happen at the same time to ensure that faulty assumptions can be detected as early as possible and that great ideas that actually emerge when we’re in the process itself are free to emerge and get recognized. In practice, we mix traditional ways with more novel ways of approaching the building of the new. Our model requires seamless co-operation between design, technology and continuous validation—things we have heavily invested in from day one.
Previous business ventures have shown us how challenging it can be to combine these different practices late in a company’s life. We have seen that what starts early is embedded into a company’s DNA has a surprising amount of influence on which end of the spectrum is understood better by the company and its people. The situation is not made easier by the fact that clients often pick specialists from two or more separate companies, which can lead to finger-pointing and liability-related issues, and, all too often, disclaimed responsibilities. To avoid this, we wanted to establish our company as a sandbox where designers, creative technologists and strategists could fulfill the client’s needs working together as equals, complementing each other. This model was set in motion since from the beginning in three different countries to better serve our global clientele.
We established this company around people, people who believe in the principles of craftsmanship: quality of work and taking ownership. Our magic happens through the right people: nothing is impossible, and unknown, invisible forces start to become something visible, tangible, manageable and valuable. This is our mission; to guide you through your journey to blue skies.