Title: Digital Darwinism: Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Business Disruption
Author: Tom Goodwin
Year: Published: 28/04/2018
Length: 240 pages
Genre: Business, Science, Technology
Get a copy: 1) Search in local bookstores to support small business; 2) Amazon.
Short Description: This book is about technology and how it shaped our current world. The author goes through the history of building brands and explains what path the current CEO’s should take to keep up with the rapidly evolving environment around us. A book that will help you transform your company and prepare it for the digital future that it’s slowly taking over the physical one.
Even though there are thousands of products that are created to ease our existence, the world today seems more complex than ever. We earn more money but we still don’t have enough to call ourselves wealthy. Change is happening fast and the best time to act is now.
Digital Darwinism is your wake-up call to realize that incremental change in digital transformation isn’t enough. Each of us is facing super-companies that are bigger than the government. Startups now can easily gather the needed budget and outrun companies that have been on the market for many years.
The author, Tom Goodwin, shines a light into the future by exploring technology, society and the lessons of the past so that you can understand how to adapt, what to embrace and what to ignore.
Business owners of all kind are facing hundreds of decisions every day. The market is huge but the competitions is even bigger in every market. The expressing “find a niche” is no longer relevant. If there are people who are willing to give money for something, there will be people who will start a company around that thing and try to gain a slice from the pie.
The book won’t necessarily provide you with a solution if you’re a business owner but it will give you something much more valuable: it will make you think about how you can adjust your brand to the fast-growing pace of the digital world. How to innovate your process? What would your company look like if you built it today? What the future holds and how you can adjust your processes to make things even better?
I found really valuable information inside Digital Darwinism by Tom Goodwin. It’s especially good if you own a company and you’re looking for a way to grow it and gain more customers. The book gets you to think differently about different problems. I was amazed by research made by the author for the past. He selected interesting stories that will give you even more
Notes, thoughts, and essential takeaways that I want to remember from the book. My main goal is to leave you with curated content, to which you can easily return to in the future for reference, that’s also holding the main insights of the book without spoiling what the book is all about:
Ask Hard Questions
The most profound questions you might ask yourself today related to the grow of your company are the following: What would your business look like if it was created today? What would it do? How will it operate? How would it make money? These are questions that shattered the very existence of your company. They are often avoided by company owners. Why? Because people are afraid of change. We rarely bother changing something if it’s working. The expression “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is widely popular amongst humanity.
If your answer is that your business would be exactly the same if set up today, then either you are not thinking hard enough, or you’ve set up the company recently. Or it can be even worse: you don’t think that things have changed. But they have.
The world is shifting from physical to digital. And you know that. When was the last time you’ve used pen and paper? Do you go to the mall or you order online? Think about the amount of people you see physically versus the amount of people you chat online. There is a huge difference, right?
Tom Goodwin help us think about the future of our company and more precisely, to think for a way to make our company fit the digital world. These days if you don’t have social media account, a blog, and a YouTube channel you’re missing big times. When we ask what your business would look like if it was started today we have to be brutal and honest. You need to penetrate to the core of what your company is about and think about how you can use that to make things even better.
Your biggest risk isn’t occasional failure; it’s sustained mediocrity
So let say you failed one time, did you failed forever? Did this one setback convinced you that you’re no good and that people won’t ever trust you? Probably yes. People often quit after one failure. But others don’t and they succeed shortly after that. A common example is the Thomas Edison case. He had 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Eventually, he made it and this changed the world. Those who fail but keep going are the ones who change the world. Why? Because in between these occasional failures they create life-changing inventions. People will understand if something created by them doesn’t quite work well because they will know that the next update will make things even better.
Now let’s look at the other side – constant mediocrity.
Let say you have some people using your service, followers. These people know that your product is not the best but stay for a reason. Probably the price is lower – that’s what happens in most of the cases. People are constantly looking for a way to save a buck. But we all know what happens in those cases. The cheaper often costs more eventually mainly because what we bought broke shortly after we got it and now we have no other choice than purchasing something more expensive. If you continuously provide average products, services, the few clients you have will eventually leave.
In conclusion – don’t stop improving both yourself and the services you’re offering to other people. That’s the only way to stay on top of the game.
Don’t Only Improve, Innovate
The world’s best candle makers continued to make better candles but they never intended the light bulb. Too bad for them.
You’ll probably say that I’m contradicting with my previous statement but in reality, both things need to happen. Innovation is the natural progression of a continuous improvement, times two. Let say making candles is a level 1 type of process, the next level will be making light bulbs. I don’t know what level 3 will look like. Probably luminaries that are powered by the Wi-Fi. No cables, no switches. Light controlled from our smartphones. I think it’s achievable.
The author shares a lot of data about why and how you can possibly optimize your workflow so that it can stay competitive in the fast-growing market.
Technology is so advanced that you can virtually build anything you want. The main thing lacking is a desire for a change. We’re so used to our current ways of working that we rarely change anything. The same is true in our daily lives. It’s a common thing to stop eating healthy after you have a wife and kids. We think that now there are people bound to love us and we stop taking care of ourselves.
Today companies need to leap to new business models and rethink fundamentals and what they stand for, not slowly tweak what has worked before. The same should apply to our daily lives. With age our bodies become slower, it’s up to us to keep pushing.
Real success comes from building Different Bridges
We are keen on paying hundreds of dollars to hire an expert to consult us and help us improve the way we do business. Even though it’s always good to have someone who doesn’t work for your look how you can do things better, we should focus on hiring people who don’t only consult on a specific field. To seek for such that can connect different industries and make them work in synergy. That’s the hard part.
You don’t even have to be an expert to spot potential issues in a company which has been on the market for years. The boss probably knows what are the issues but he feeds his mind with something likes this: “Yes, I know that we can do better if we buy new software for managing the internal workflow but that will cost us hundreds of dollars and a lot of time to be implemented. We’ve worked for years using our old one so it’s not of a big deal.”
We constantly tell ourselves something like the statement from above. We even do it with ourselves. I’m sure you know what is stopping you from becoming a more productive person. You don’t have to hire an expert to tell you that you need to wake up early, disable social media when you’re working and you need to exercise regularly. These are the most common things. But you probably can hire someone who can help you find your own strengths and show you new ways to use them to gain more traction both in life and in business.
You know, some of the most rewarding (and profitable) investments in life are the time and money spent on learning more about yourself. In this case, we should also include your business. The more you know what’s the core of your business, the better you can improve it in the future.
Start thinking about the future and how it will look
Thanks to social media we now have the power to connect with individuals on a more personal level. To make them feel secure, to help them outside our normal standards, to tailor our solutions according to their needs. Doing this won’t only help you keep a customer, it will help you gain more customers. People using social media love to share their experience with companies. If they like what you offer, how you communicate with them they will help you gain a bigger market share over time. I think that this is key in our future. We no longer trust the ads we see online or offline, but we trust our friend when he tells us that we should buy the new Volkswagen or Nikon camera instead of Cannon.
But social media is only part of the future.
Whether we like it or not, I think that our future will be more virtual and less physical. The power of Oculus will excel in the following years – at least this is what I think. We’ll be able to meet our friends and coworkers in a digital room where we can share ideas and plan for the next quarter. We’ll be able to go to the store and buy trousers without the need to leave the comfort of our home.
All of the above will require digital architects to construct these virtual realities. Eventually, our lives will become similar to what Ernest Cline envisions in his book Ready Player One.
If you haven’t already, sit down and think about how technology will change the way you do business. The way you live, and start thinking for ways to use this to your advantage. Prepare yourself now because eventually, you might end up being at the end of the herd.
“Make things people want rather than making people want things.” – John Willshire
Get A Copy:
- Local Bookstore: Search in a near, local bookstore to support small business.