A market disruption is either a success and wealth maker or breaker.
Whether you're about to start your company or sell your company, stop.
Stop whatever you're doing, right now, and know this.
Create a market disruption, and you'll change lives for the better and build your empire.
I should know.
I was the kid who started his EdTech company right out of school with no money, team, or experience.
Many years and failures later, I achieved moderate success.
Had nothing changed I would have had a small company and a comfortable life.
Everything changed when I created a market disruption that solved a problem. The problem was so painful that people were only too happy to pay for the solution.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I stumbled on creating a market disruption.
Not any market disruption.
My market disruption forever changed online education and created my 9-figure exit.
If I could do this as that kid right out of school with no money, team or experience, so can you.
You either disrupt your own company or someone else will. - Peter Diamonds
Why should you care about market disruption, you ask?
Compaq, Kodak, Blockbuster, Polaroid, and Circuit City.
If you never heard of these companies that's the point.
And if you're old enough to remember the companies, you'll also remember one other thing. Each of the above companies was an untouchable titan.
Untouchable to the masses but not to entrepreneurs.
Remember, an entrepreneur spells 'impossible' as 'I'm Possible.'
In each case, a massive market disruption took out and bankrupted those titans.
The company culture of the entrepreneurs focused solely on a disruptive solution.
Either you create a market disruption and create your empire, or someone will. You choose.
Capitalism and entrepreneurship are what they are because of market disruption. Someone is always trying to build the better mousetrap and win. Win big.
As a business owner, make the decision now.
Either you decide to put yourself out of business with a market disruption, or someone else will.
Sound too radical, you say?
Tell you what, let's get to the next section and we'll revisit that question.
Let's play a game.
I'll make a statement. You decide if what I've said is true, and if it is, guess who or what I'm talking about.
Car company disrupts the energy industry.
Established mobile operating systems vanish from a search company.
A DVD mail service company disrupts streaming and movie production.
Food delivery gets overhauled by a taxi service.
A technology company dominates music players and later saves the music industry.
Bookseller overhauls computer manufacturers and IT industry.
Each of the above sentences is both true and could be a newspaper headline.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
Did you guess the companies I was talking about?
Tesla is redefining energy storage with its network of batteries.
Google's Android operating system runs 87% of the world's smartphones.
Netflix put Blockbuster out of business with streaming. Hollywood is now in the crosshairs with Netflix original productions.
Uber created a market disruption in the taxi industry and now with food delivery.
Apple gave us the iPod, which later morphed into the iPhone, and iTunes. The music industry is the better for it and Apple built its empire.
Amazon mastered the selling of books and later introduced Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AWS has made cloud computing a reality and has reduced the number of servers sold. And it's the same AWS that has eliminated IT jobs because it's now all too easy to set up and run a server in minutes. And the cost, compared to buying a server and hiring an IT person, is a rounding error.
Yes, market disruption is very much alive and well.
Status quo is Latin for the mess we're in. - Ronald Reagan
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that I was that kid who started his company right out of school. I failed forward. Every day.
It was painful. Thinking about me failing forward is still painful.
What took me from zero to hero were four simple questions.
I didn't know it at the time, but these four questions led me to create my market disruption.
What are those four questions?
Glad you asked.
The market disruption questions are:
Sounds too simple, you say?
As I like to say, stop confusing simple with easy.
I'll summarize the questions in another way. Let's tune in to the WII FM station: What's In It For Me.
Help enough people get what they want, you'll get what you want. In that order.
You're solving a painful problem that you're passionate to solve.
It's your passion and belief that gets you through the challenges to create a solution with value.
But you're not done. You'll need to do three more things to lock in your market disruption.
What are those three things, you ask?
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hoffman
More than ever before you have choices. Walk into the supermarket and you have dozens of choices for something as simple as bread.
The unintended consequence of too many choices is complexity.
Your customers want something that works and is simple.
Simplify your way to success.
French mathematician Blaise Pascal understood simplicity.
When writing a letter to a friend, Pascal apologized and said:
"I have made this longer than usual because I have not had the time to make it shorter."
When you simplify your way to success, you solve problems and build your empire.
From Pascal to Uber.
Why did Uber create a massive market disruption?
Uber made everything simple. Ordering a black car or taxi is as simple as pushing a button.
Payment with Uber is easy. No fumbling around in your pocket for cash. No waiting for the driver to run your credit card.
Uber makes it easy to split the fare.
And Uber took the guessing out of the process by letting you know when your ride will arrive and how much it will cost.
Simplify your way to market disruption.
Every great business is built on friendship. - JC Penny
Cockroach startups know that customers are everything.
So should you.
How do you think rich and successful people became rich and successful?
A quick story.
My EdTech, Embanet, finally gained traction and was making a difference.
Embanet made it easy for Universities to host their courses online. Our course conversion services and technical support was second to none.
Thanks to Embanet, online completion rates went from a dismal 30% to 93%.
And that's when an interesting thing happened.
Every time I spoke with my customers I asked what keeps them up at nights.
What I heard, forever changed my trajectory.
One customer said, "Jeffrey, thanks to Embanet my online programs are now profitable. Our completion rates are the highest they've ever been. My biggest problem now is where do I find my students??
One customer with a massive problem was all it took to put me on the path of creating a market disruption.
And that, my dear reader, is how life is.
Your biggest opportunity is often disguised as your biggest problem.
That one problem and plea for help led me to put Embanet out of business.
I launched "Embanet 2" which now filled the seats and kept the seats filled.
The solution was simple, solved a massive problem I was passionate to solve, and a game changer.
Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. - M. C. Escher
When it comes to creating a market disruption, expect and welcome many failures.
In today's business environment, the question is not if you will fail.
The real question is how fast you can pick yourself up and start again.
The quicker you experiment and adapt, the quicker you reach your success and riches.
Welcome to the entrepreneur life. Get used to it.
You'll make stupid mistakes along the way, and that's not only OK, it's needed.
In the last section, I shared how I created a market disruption by putting Embanet out of business. In its place was 'Embanet 2.'
What I didn't share was that the process took three years.
Yes, three years of failure after failure.
Failure is your best friend and path to success if you're willing to try again without hesitation.
It sounds easy on paper. But in reality, it wasn't.
Launching 'Embanet 2' meant taking our profits and putting it at risk.
What emerged from the ashes forever changed the industry for the better.
It wasn't easy, but it was necessary.
What made our success possible?
Passion to find a way when there appeared to be no way.
To create a massive market disruption know that you must be quick to experiment and adapt.
If you're about to sell your company or start a new company know this.
When you create market disruption your company's value significantly increases.
I should know.
I failed my way forward when I started my company right out of school with no money, team, or experience.
It was only after I created a market disruption that I went from failing forward to massive success.
And so can you.
How do you do this, you ask?
Start with the four questions that I asked to help me create both a market disruption and later, a 9-figure exit.
Once you have your answer, you must do three other things.
Market disruption has been around ever since there have been markets.
Your choice is a simple one. Either put yourself out of business or have someone do it for you.
In my case, I chose the first option, and I hope you do too.
In this article, I've given you all the tools you need to create your market disruption.
As daunting as this may seem, the great news is that you already have everything you need within you right now.
I know you can do it.
Here's to you and your success!
Your Raving Fan,