Rakia Finley
About Author
September 20, 2021

How to Disrupt an Industry

Big businesses find change to be highly uncomfortable as they want to stay BIG by doing what they have been doing in a particular way that they call ‘Industry Best Practices.’ They want to be comfortable, safe, and secure in their operations, and in fact, they oppose the idea of change.

Then there is the new blood of entrepreneurs, innovators, and a whole tribe of game-changers who believe in change or successful ‘Disruption’ as their ultimate goal. They do not want to do the conventional things in the traditional ways, and they always look to innovate and change to stay ahead of the curve.

Disruption is the word that is defined for the drive of this new generation of business people who want to use technology to take over the traditional business models established by the Big Players of the Industry.

If you have a good idea and the drive which you think can take you to the destiny of creating the next big thing through Disrupting an existing industry, take a note of these three fundamental steps which will surely bring you closer to your future.

Propound a Radically New Idea

Unlike simple changes, Disruption has a better and a much more significant impact. You can alter some processes of your day-to-day operation, or you can work on improving your product or service. These are changes that will make your business more successful.

But Disruption, on the other hand, is creating a fresh solution for your customers which they never had or even thought of before. You can always start by looking for the needs of your customer base that are highly underserved.

To give a simple example, if we look at the story of Amazon and the books, they simply revolutionized how people shop for books. Earlier, you had to go to a bookstore, look for the book of your choice, and if it was a limited version you were looking for, you had to pay an advance fee and then wait for another couple of weeks for the book to arrive.

With Amazon, you do not just get a vast selection of books, but you also get that book delivered right to your door – be it a new launch or a limited edition. Through this successful disruption, Amazon became a Retailing Giant.

So, look around you to find what society needs and why it is difficult to obtain. Then prepare your solutions accordingly to satisfy the needs of the people.

Put Creativity & Innovation over ‘Best Practices’

This is a common mistake that all established industry giants make. They are hell-bent on continuing with their ‘best practices and do not want to change them at any cost until and unless it gets a bit too late.

Even after having the massive resources at their disposal, established brands do not stay fluid on their operations as they stick to the tried and tested routes of success. Eventually, they become entirely oblivious to the customer’s needs, and before they realize it, a startup comes and sweeps their customer base right from under their nose.

It might come as a surprise to the brand, but the key elements of the startup’s success are that they nurtured creativity and valued innovation more than a conventional business.

New-age entrepreneurs and game-changers look at ‘best practices’ as something already done and, therefore, lacks freshness and ingenuity. According to them, the ‘best practices’ are only those which allow them to adapt and grow without any restrictions.

That is why they constantly create solutions to solve problems according to customer needs and interests and do not stick to the big players’ paths.

Make Full Use of Technology & Data

Data and technology are the new oil and diamond of the 21st century. No matter which industry you operate in or which industry you are looking to disrupt, it’s impossible to even dream of successful disruption without data and technology.

Technology revolutionizes the solution you want to create to serve those customers in different aspects of their lives. Data gives you the power to track consumer behaviors and their interests. Without the help of these two, you will be aiming to hit the bull’s eye with a thick blindfold on your eyes.

If you are a keen observer of the market, look for areas with tremendous interest in investing in technology. More likely than not, those are the areas that are practically ripe for disruption.

Netflix is a textbook example of this. Back in the 2000s, it already had a successful DVD-by-Mail business model. But when technology developed and brought video streaming services over the horizon, it quickly used that technology, adapted to the new market needs, and launched its streaming services, causing significant disruption.

As a result, the current subscriber base of Netflix does not even remember those days when they had to wait for their favorite Blockbusters to get delivered to them. Now they have used data to such an extent that they have a completely personalized and immersive viewing experience for all its users.

So, to run in the race of Disruption, make data and technology your best pals.


Changes happen in all industries at all times. But suppose you want to create a recipe for a lasting success that stands the test of time instead of offering a mere alternative. In that case, you will have to disrupt an existing industry through the forces of creativity, technology, and innovation.

Speaking of Innovation, Copper & Vine is a Creative Solutions Agency that helps people and businesses build products and services from conceptualization to implementation. We have over 15 years of experience in creating big ideas that shift industries and market conversations. We specialize in cultivating business models that result in successful conversion and retention of customers. To learn more about our services, just give us a call at +1 202.455.6992, today!


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