With entrepreneurship, investment and innovation Prince Edward Island “could” be in a position to benefit from a new wave of business modeling; business disruption.
There are very few industries or sectors that are not impacted by technology advances and changes in consumer behavior.
A decade ago few fishers would be considering using global positioning systems (GPS) to track schools of fish, or report wirelessly in real time to shore on fish catches. Few farmers could have envisioned monitoring crop production, harvesting and irrigation via smartphone. And the tourism industry has been radically changed with on-line booking/ purchases, customer review blogs and real-time availability.
Disruptive technologies can transform an industry. If you are progressively embracing technology you will be a benefactor of change; if you are unaware of the pending advancements or slow to react your business will be victimized by change.
Larry Downes and Paul Nunes recently wrote an article on Big Bang Disruption. Such disruptors don't just affect smaller players; they transform industries so quickly that even market leaders are destroyed in their wake.
These “new” disrupters not only have a technological advantage, but they are often less expensive, distributed almost instantly and can emerge undetected to take market incumbents completely off guard.
There is neither business nor industry immune to disruptors and little defense for Big Bang Disruptors. Herein lies the peril and opportunity for Island entrepreneurs.
There are many examples of Big Bang Disruptors, but they all share three common characteristics, according to Downes and Nunes. They all involve unencumbered development; often unplanned and spontaneous products of a random event. They exhibit unconstrained growth; new developments don't have to follow traditional development cycles as they are developed, deployed and rapidly adopted. Finally they also have an undisciplined strategy; there is no defined approach or predictability to their development or deployment.
The shock waves of Big Bang Disruption are sieging every industry, product and consumable. Truly no product or service is sacred. This is the opportunity.
With the ingredients of entrepreneurship, investment and innovation there is no reason that PEI cannot participate in this revolution. However, we might need to evaluate our environment.
Are there mechanisms for business to collaborate? Are we engaging the engineers, designers and IT professionals to consider the art-of-the-possible? Are we fostering relationships that are not threatened by competition and looking more broadly at collaborative development?
In my opinion, today the environment does not afford full participation in Big Bang Disruptive opportunities. But this environment could be developed through the vision and endorsement of stakeholders.