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Digital Transformation

Don’t Underestimate The Power of Disruption

Today I received an email from Uber asking me to take an active part in Ubers now public fight with Mayor De Blasio of New York City.


Anyone who knows Uber won’t be surprised at this and at the changes to the app they made for all NYC users.  There’s another trend you can see from a Bloomberg article, How Uber Took Over a City about Portland’s challenges with Uber.

Yet Uber was still Uber, and it began strangling Portland. It launched just to the north, in Vancouver, Wash. “Hey Portland,” Uber taunted on its blog. “We are just across the river.” Soon Uber started operating in several adjacent suburbs. “They basically forced their way into the market and surrounded us, then put the pressure on for us to do likewise,” Hales later told a conference of mayors.

The city told Uber that updating the taxi regulations could, finally, happen soon, but first the transportation department had to fix Portland’s pothole problem, which required finding millions of dollars in new revenue for the street maintenance budget. Around Thanksgiving, Uber was next in the queue. Uber wanted a firm time frame, which Alpert couldn’t give. “I kept telling them: ‘A little bit longer,’ ” Alpert says. “Strangely, at the last minute, when it was in sight, they were like, ‘Well, we’re done.’ ”

You should read the entire Bloomberg article. It’s a bit lengthy but fascinating in the specifics.  Think about this though.  Uber has proved to be one of the most disruptive companies in recent history. They, just like Airbnb, Amazon Business, and a host of other companies are cutting a wide swath through existing billion dollar businesses.  But their disruption lies not only in the new business model but in their ability to use social media and other digital tools to further their business.

In other words, for any single digital disruption, the disrupted should expect an onslaught like an oncoming freight train rather than a moped.  That’s the nature of disruption.  That makes it all the more important to become proactive in your digital strategy rather than reactive…….




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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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