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Disrupt Yourself

By: Jay Samit

This book is truly incredible. The main point that Jay Samit is trying to conconvey that the world is constantly changing if you are unable to adapt yourself & your business to it, you WILL fall behind. He suggests that innovation must be an integral part of every organization and talks about several different ways in which a business can successfully innovate. Jay gives several examples from his personal story where he proves that one must not have plenty of resources to do something big. He introduces concepts such as OPM (Other people's money), talks about leveraging other people's resources and a lot more.

 

Highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to stay ahead in the 21st century

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Incremental innovation is like walking on quicksand: it will keep you very busy but won't get you very far. Building disruptive organizations must be infused into the DNA of every successful twenty-first-century corporation.

  2. Don’t try to see the steps to solving a problem; first, visualize the solution and then work backwards to determine what you will have to do or build to get to that solution.

  3. It is not incumbent on the world to conform to your vision of change. It is up to you to explain the future in terms that those living in the past and present can follow. If you can’t overcome this fundamental communication challenge, you will never raise your capital, assemble your team, or build your customer base.

  4. Your job is to try everything you can to kill your big idea and discover every way that it can fail. When you discover a crack in your plan, fix it, reshape it, and make it stronger.

  5. Through partnerships and licensing, disruptors can save the millions of dollars it takes to establish a new brand and allow entrepreneurs to focus their limited resources on building a better product.

Notes

Foreword

 

Whatever industry you’re in, the technologies that drive it are going to change. Your customers are going to demand new solutions. Your competitors are going to alter their tactics. To stay relevant, you must keep your career in permanent beta.

 

Introduction

 

  • I came to refer to the intense and introspective process of questioning my beliefs and goals— which has, time and again, led to my biggest business breakthroughs— as self-disruption.

  • They look internally, questioning their assumptions about themselves and reevaluating their unique talents. They put themselves on the path to success, even if they didn’t know what might lie ahead. And they understand that they cannot fall in love with their ideas, that they must be willing to destroy their concepts and pivot their energies before the market can render their businesses obsolete.

  • All disruption starts with introspection

 

Chapter 1  - In defence of disruption 

  • I learned then that there is a difference between failing and failure. Failing is trying something that you learn doesn’t work. Failure is throwing in the towel and giving up.

  • For a product or a process to be truly disruptive, it must create a new market and transform an existing business model.

  • In the twenty-first century, billion-dollar industries can be disrupted and waylaid virtually overnight—no sector of commerce or government is immune to the threat.

  • Using existing technologies to disrupt existing businesses is KEY

  • Anyone who takes advantage of the opportunities created by disruption, anyone who refuses to be intimidated by technological innovation, anyone who finds ways to continually reinvent themselves so that their unique assets will never become obsolete— these are the people I consider disruptors.

  • Incremental innovation is like walking on quicksand: it will keep you very busy but won’t get you very far. Building disruptive organizations must be infused into the DNA of every successful twenty-first-century corporation.

 

Chapter 2 - Become a disruptor 

  • Being a disruptor is simply a state of mind. It is the ability to look for opportunity in every obstacle, to respond to every setback as a new beginning.

  • Disruption isn’t about what happens to you; it’s about how you respond to what happens to you.

  • Self-disruption is not a comfortable or easy process. It requires you to get out of your comfort zone.

  • You need only analyze each link in your internal value chain and find the single link that’s holding you back. Then make changes to that link to disrupt yourself.

  • Over time, most people accept the limitations conferred on them by society.

  • “Identity doesn’t get found. It emerges.”

  • Train yourself to look outside the given variables and see the big picture.

  • Don’t try to see the steps to solving a problem; first, visualize the solution and then work backwards to determine what you will have to do or build to get to that solution.

 

Chapter 3 - The disruptors map

 

  • Accepting that the odds are against you is the same as accepting defeat before you begin.

  • Once you have a date, you can work backwards in your mind, list the steps needed to achieve your goal.

  • If you don’t know where you want to be in five years, how do you expect to get there?

  • Starting each day with a positive mindset is the most important step in your journey to discovering opportunity. (Visualisation)

  • The more detail you put into your plan, the more resources you will have to achieve it.

  • “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be,”

  • To really achieve everything you set out to accomplish, you must set deadlines. Work backwards from each deadline and develop incremental steps.

  • “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

 

Chapter 4  - Building a brand for one

  • “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in an interesting way,”

  • Lifelong learning is no longer a luxury but a necessity for employment.

  • How we market and sell ourselves comes into play long before we get the opportunity to prove ourselves through our work.

  • One of the best ways to leverage and promote your brand of one is through public speaking.

  • Every industry has conferences in need of speakers. You don’t have to be famous; you just have to be persistent. Send emails out to event planners, outlining in a paragraph what you plan on presenting and why it will be of value to that particular audience.

  • “Expertise gives you enough insight to reinvent what everyone else assumes is the truth.”

  • staying actively aware of your personal brand and the tools available to quickly give yourself a reboot, you will always have the ability to change yourself, your industry, and your world.

 

Chapter 5 - Disruptors at work and the value of intrapreneurship

  • The business world is littered with the fossils of companies that failed to evolve. Disrupt or be disrupted. There is no middle ground.

  • Corporate boards look at their existing competitors as the biggest threat to their immediate quarterly market share and growth. This is the “thintelligence” Michael Crichton describes in Jurassic Park. All planning is centred on beating the existing competition, and little time is devoted to reinventing their industry or the structure of their businesses.

  • In our Darwinian world, every corporate and governmental leader is focused primarily on survival. Digital Darwinism is only accelerating the pace of corporate extinction, and the biggest is often the first to die.

  • The more pressure there is on companies at the top, the less likely they are to launch new initiatives that may take years to become profitable.

  • Sometimes success comes from cooperating and competing: coopetition.

  • It is not incumbent on the world to conform to your vision of change. It is up to you to explain the future in terms that those living in the past and present can follow. If you can’t overcome this fundamental communication challenge, you will never raise your capital, assemble your team, or build your customer base.

  • You can do whatever you want in life, as long as you can find someone else who is willing to pay for it.

  • There are two types of people in this world: those who look for opportunity and those who make it happen. I surrounded myself with the latter.

 

Chapter 6 - In search of the zombie idea 

  • The quicker you can eliminate the business roadkill, the more capital you will have left to focus on the one idea that can’t be killed.

  • The faster you can kill the bad ideas, the quicker you can pivot to the successful one. “Speed to fail” should be every entrepreneur’s motto.

  • Ask yourself this question: Is my world perfect? Does everything function smoothly at your job or company? Are all your friends enjoying the stress-free lives they imagined for themselves when they were young? Are all the goods and services you use properly priced and easy to find? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then there is room for a disruptive idea.

  • The worse your day is going, the better the opportunities to be discovered from your frustration. A disruptor finds opportunity and profit from his misfortunes.

  • If you can imagine a solution, you can make it happen.

  • insight and drive are all the skills you need. Everything else can be hired.

  • Wanting to build creations in stealth mode, with no collaborators or funding whatsoever, is an unrealistic impossibility.

  • The trouble with most entrepreneurs is that they would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

  • Your job is to try everything you can to kill your big idea and discover every way that it can fail. When you discover a crack in your plan, fix it, reshape it, and make it stronger.

  • You don’t want a big idea; you want what I like to call a zombie idea: no matter what is thrown at it, a zombie idea can’t be stopped or killed.

  • More often than not, a big idea is just a simple solution to a small problem.

 

Chapter 7 - Pivoting your energies 

  • In a constantly changing world, learning when to pivot is a skill that is useful for any business.

  • For most businesses, pivoting is less about big changes in direction and more about adjusting to ever-changing market conditions.

  • Test, verify, and adjust is the only way to stay on course. Data has no ego and makes an excellent co-pilot. Test, verify, and adjust

  • Unless you are diligent about always challenging what you know and what your market wants, a newer, more nimble upstart will come along as you once did and disrupt your business.

 

Chapter 8 - Unlocking the value chain

  • The key to self-transformation is understanding what makes you, as an individual, uniquely valuable.

 

Chapter 9 - Research & Development: Unlocking the value of waste 

  • Great wealth can be created by taking advantage of the research and development done by someone else.

  • Disruption can come from learning to reuse, repurpose, and recycle the R & D of others to achieve new products in new categories never imagined by the original creators.

 

Chapter 10 - Design: Disruption through aesthetics 

  • In our mass-market world, even the smallest incremental improvement in manufacturing efficiency can yield billion-dollar results.

  • no amount of capital can buy a long-term competitive advantage.

  • “The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition.”

  • 100% of nothing is nothing, but 50% of something can be worth millions. I’d rather own half of the Pacific Ocean than all of Lake Erie.

  • Through partnerships and licensing, disruptors can save the millions of dollars it takes to establish a new brand and allow entrepreneurs to focus their limited resources on building a better product.

  • Design is crucial to how products are perceived by consumers; it determines how users feel about a product. Poor design presents a world of opportunity for disruptors looking to make their mark without having to invent or introduce a new product to the world.

 

Chapter 11 : Production - Reuse , repurpose , create 

 

  • To disrupt production, and capture value, one must look to on-demand manufacturing.

  • in order for innovation to be successful, it has to be about not just value creation, but value capture.

  • For innovation to be successful, it has to be about not just value creation, but value capture.

 

Chapter 12: Marketing and Sales: Finding the Problem to Fit Your Solution

 

  • What’s at the heart of all sales and marketing: creating demand even in the absence of logic.

  • Disrupting the sales link of the value chain is really about deciding what business your company or your product is in.

  • Differentiation of the sales model can be as powerful as differentiation of the product itself.

  • Creating branded content for your new product or service is very simple. The more you know about your potential customer, the easier it is to identify opportunities to utilize branded content.

  • Customer service should be thought of as marketing because it influences how customers feel about your company.

  • “The customer is always right. Even when they’re wrong.”

  • it is imperative that you think about how your customers and employees feel about every interaction they have with your brand, from the way they purchase the products to how they hear about them, through advertising and word of mouth.

 

Chapter 13: Distribution: Unlocking Unattained Value and the Challenge of Unlimited Shelf Space

 

  • Disruption of the distribution link in the value chain is about redefining the customer.

  • The bigger the conglomerate, the less influence and control at its centre.

  • “True disruption means threatening your existing product line and your past investments. Breakthrough products disrupt current lines of businesses.”

  • The question of where one consumes media has been replaced by how one consumes media.

  • entrepreneurs must remember that long before you get consumers to consume your big idea, you need investors to discover you and your company.

 

Chapter 14: Capital Revisited, Other people’s money 

 

  • OPM is about positioning your idea so that it is more valuable to suppliers of the OPM than their own cash.

  • if you can figure out how to spend someone else’s money to achieve your goals, you are earning profit from day one.

  • You’ll never know how close you were to victory if you give up.

  • For the entrepreneur looking to utilize such OPM opportunities, the process is very straightforward. First, identify and define your target market. What is the specific audience that your product appeals to, and what are the emotional attributes attached to your value proposition? Once you are armed with that information, your next step is to make a list of the other, noncompetitive products marketed to the same audience.

  • Pursuing other people’s money is a great way to make industry contacts with people who think collaboratively and creatively and who might care about more than just hitting their numbers.

 

Chapter 15: Disruption in the era of the crowd

  • Crowdsourcing is the ultimate disruptor, because, in a most Zenlike fashion, the content is controlled by all and none at the same time.

  • The possibilities of migrating from an economy based on owning to one based on sharing are limitless.

  • Feedback is the engine that improves the overall quality of crowdsourced businesses.

  • The net’s ability to connect people who’ve never met but share a common need will disrupt all businesses based on being the “middleman.”

 

Chapter 16: Disrupt the world 

  • Innovative disruptors can unlock value in the waste of other industries and create new sectors of employment.

  • Sometimes it is as simple as looking for a business solution to a nonbusiness problem. In business, the easiest way to change someone’s point of view is to show them how they can profit from your viewpoint. This same idea can help move legislation forward in government.

  • The real challenge is for each of us to determine where we feel we can make the most impact.

  • History doesn’t remember those who maintained the status quo.

  • jaysamit.com. I hope that by gathering readers’ collected wisdom and sharing it online, we can inspire more people to think about how they can change their lives and the lives of others.

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© 2020 Arjan Sahni