Is Uber Darwinian? Is Airbnb natural selection? Are the disruptors the ice age and legacy business models dinosaurs, doomed to become business fossils? The oft-quoted line of “no change occurs unless the model is broken” has been thrown about liberally when mentioning the disruptors of the new consumption and peer to peer economy. Think Kodak, publishing, video rentals, wall phones and you already have a litany of past dinosaurs. Anyone who has jumped into the back seat of a cab and found yesterday’s MacDonald wrappers, a clueless driver and a cab charge fee that seems unwarranted, is looking for a better way to travel. So are we in an age of consumer change so radical and frenzied that business is failing to keep up or is this an efficiency era where the consumer has become the procurement advocate for their own lives and they decide what works?
From incubators to tech silos, kick-starters and crowd-sourcing, the ideas keep coming, aimed squarely at the consumer. A consumer who goes to work and asks the question, why don’t my work systems and processes work as well as the ones I use at home? A consumer well educated and knowledgeable, courtesy of the web and a decade of Googling, now has more power than in the entire history of the world. So because of this power, the consumer now decides what’s most efficient and cost effective for their lifestyle. The populace now decides, long before the men in towers, a process opposite of what used to be, when businesses would decide what was best for us, be it products or services. Along with businesses, even governments struggle to manage the new players, who have greater technology expertise and care less about regulations and old procedures.
So the confluence of technology aligning with radical business ideas and practices has created an era of change, unprecedented since the industrial revolution, giving people the power to change old thinking and bring new efficiencies into their lives and the lives of others. So where natural selection may take place to bring in a new more adapted business model, none of them would survive without the crowd, the crowd looking to be more efficient and effective in everything they do. Darwinism meets best practice procurement, zeitgeist, of today.