collaboration is the key to digital disruption


Every day the digital ecosystem becomes more crowded even more noisy. The digital and startup world is innovating almost at the speed of light. As soon as one “hit digital product” pops up, a hundred “me-too” products follow.


With all this noise and competition, how do we disrupt the digital market? Brian Fanzo and Dan Newman give us the answer in their Cloudtalk Podcast: Collaboration is the Key to Digital Disruption.


Grab the full recording, here. Here are 4 major takeaways from this episode of Cloud Talk.


What factor does disruption play in the innovation of tomorrow?

There are major and minor disruptions in the marketplace every day. People’s expectations today are very different compared to 2 years ago—now, everything is instantaneous.


Disruption and innovation are not any different, the faster a service is provided, the more disruptive it is.


People want everything right here, right now.


Disruption in the marketplace is created by providing exactly that. Netflix gave us movies without leaving our home. Periscope’s team up with GoPro gave us instant access to the first person view of X-Game’s contestants.


Disruption doesn’t mean you have to invent something new.

You can be disruptive by rethinking something that’s already been done. Uber didn’t invent anything new, they simply asked: “Honestly, is the very best way to do this? Can we do it better?”


[bctt tweet=”“Disruption through collaboration is the biggest factor in the innovation of tomorrow.” -Brian Fanzo”]

Experience and timing are big factors in innovation.

We don’t buy Uber to get us around, we buy the “Uber experience.” That ease of use and convenience is what we buy. Getting from point A to point B safely, is the need for most people. The experience we have while in transit from those points (whether it’s Uber or a Taxi) can make a world of a difference.


Uber’s timing in the marketplace was key. They came in exactly when people wanted that convenience.


Other companies have failed or succeeded based on timing too.


Even though there have been 5 apps for living streaming before Meerkat and Periscope, the timing wasn’t right. Our phone networks couldn’t handle it, our culture wasn’t comfortable talking at our phones, etc. The timing wasn’t right for those products.


Even though you can live stream from a GoPro for a while now with Meerkat—no one cared for a long time. That is, until Periscope came out with the capability.


With both live streaming being hot and action sports rising in popularity, it made sense for Periscope and GoPro to team up.

This created a new type of media the “go experience life with me, the ultimate voyeur” -Dan Newman


The timing was right for live streaming with GoPro’s. We wanted that experience, and our collective culture was ready for it.

The timing was right for Uber, we wanted a better solution than the taxi system.


Where do you start as a small business to disrupt the market?

What does it take to make a massive impact quickly? Is it collaboration, community, innovation or is it unique to every business?


Brian’s take:

The future of innovation is collaboration [and] the future of business is community – Brian Fanzo


When we think of innovation, we usually think of technology. When we think of collaboration, we think of tools… like Slack. When we think of community, we think of people.


Great brands are great because they have great people.

Community is the heart of every brand—big or small.


Great technology and innovation happens when you have great people willing to work on it. You must build trust with your community, and use training and tools to create an innovative environment.


To have trust, you need a community that believes in you. To have training you need a community that believes in training consistently. To have tools you must have a community that understands innovation.


For small businesses, community is the number one focus or metric of success. – Brian Fanzo


Dan’s take:

Start with who the consumer of your brand is. Understand your business and your strategy.


If your community is a micro-community, with a small number of clients and partners you talk to, your plan is going to be different than a Blab or Go-Pro (big startup with a large community or market share).


When you’re small, you don’t have mass market appeal and your approach needs to reflect that.


Your community might be much smaller and you must understand what the objectives of your business are. You must understand what and who your community is, and figure out what they need, and how you can assist them.


Ask yourself: “Who are my customers, who are my partners, who are my employees?”

That is ultimately your first community.


It doesn’t matter if your community is 3 people or 3 billion people. You have to know who those stakeholders are.


If you think your community is everybody, then you have no idea who you are actually reaching out too. You need to go back to the drawing board and say “Who do we want to be a part of our brand?”


The community that is most important (the one you should put the most money and training into) is on your payroll. This is the only way to scale and last as a company.


“The very first customer, is your employees. The very first community, is your employees. The reason you are successful and innovating is your employees.” -Brian Fanzo


Outside of Uber and Netflix are there other brands that are disrupting?

Yes, brands that aren’t marketing products but marketing the experience are the real disrupters. For example, take RedBull. They are a media company more than an energy beverage company. You can love Redbull for bringing you the new experiences, the behind the scenes, etc. without loving the product.


Draftkings and fantasy leagues like Fanduel are major disruptors because they allows people to get excited over teams they wouldn’t normally love. Instead of being bummed out because your team didn’t make it. You can now root for players and games that normally you wouldn’t.


Marketing has completely changed.


We don’t buy Starbucks because of a Starbucks ad. We don’t buy Netflix because of a Netflix ad. We buy it, because someone told us about the experience. We buy it, because someone sent us an Uber coupon and we’ve heard about it.


None of these big successful companies became big because of their advertising. They created an experience that you talked about. That’s the magic—the experience.


Marketing has fundamentally shifted into creating experiences that people will share. It is about creating scalability in word of mouth. This is why influencer marketing campaigns are effective. People buy Monster energy drinks because Brian Fanzo drinks them on his Blabs.


Make sure you check out the rest of the talk on Brian Fanzo and Dan Newman also talk about how visual marketing is a major cause of disruption.


Love the perspective? Let us know in the comments!