In the 1982 horror movie classic Poltergeist, sweet little Carol Anne Freeling places her hands on a glowing TV screen and speaks a simple truth—“They’re heeere!”—letting the world know that things are about to change big time in her home sweet home.
Talk about disruption!
Thirty-five years later, digital disruption is a horror movie playing out in real life for many older businesses. I wonder if taxi drivers think, “They’re here!” when an Uber full of millennials goes by? Or if hotel owners say it when they imagine a virtual horde of Airbnb barbarians at somebody else’s gate?
Welcome to the age of disruption. New brands like Uber, Airbnb, Tesla and Square are torpedoing old-school business models and challenging the status quo. Unicorns seem to pop up out of a garage to amass a billion-dollar valuation in a matter of months. Traditional rules of accounting need not apply. Irrational exuberance anyone?
If you’re a consumer, what’s not to love? More choices! More shows! More info! More apps! The only thing missing is more time to make sense of it all.
But, if you’re a brand, especially one that’s been around for a few decades, disruption is terrifying. And there is an equally disturbing flip side to the age of disruption—it’s the age of distraction. Good luck getting through someone’s smartphone forcefield to their nanosecond attention span.
Not to be the grim reaper, but it seems to me that disruption and distraction are—like death and taxes—inevitable realities that humans and brands must face head on.
But wait, there’s more!
Grab some popcorn and get ready to scream,...
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