Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Disruptive Innovation vs Human Behavior

Has disruptive innovation changed the way we behave, or has technology evolved in such impressive manner because of the way we behave? We may, as well, ask which came first, the chicken or the egg and we will never get into an agreement. The fact is that innovation and behavioral sociality walk together in an endless cycle in this era of information and disruptive technology.

First, never before has the world exchanged information at such a fast pace. IBM states that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone.  Big Data is a one way street, and we cannot turn our backs and ignore it. We can learn the habits of an entire generation and predict the future paths of the way we do business, how we interact with our peers and even how we create policies to foster growth and development. Data analytics has become a competitive asset in every sphere, as the concept of internet has expanded to the Internet of All Things, allowing information, human interaction and mobility to influence us on our daily lives and our decisions.   

Industries have awakened for this phenomenon. In a time where customer experience is the ultimate goal, product innovation and commercial channeling challenge companies to rethink their business models in attempt to approach their clients. A great example of this is the retailer Apple Store. The store has created a digital experience for their customers, both online and inside the physical store. The store offers free Wi-Fi, mobile shopping apps and product testing to anyone who walks in. The person will only interact with a sales person if he wants.  It can be a convenient and yet fulfilling experience for the customer to shop at the Apple Store. Another retailer that can be shown as a great case is Amazon. For what started as an online platform to shop books has now evolved to services. Aside from buying products from electronics to fresh broccoli (yes, you can buy broccoli at Amazon Fresh), the company offers rental services to books and even cloud-based web services to your company.  It is the personalization and simplification of businesses that can provide you, as a customer, the ultimate experience and interaction. In the meanwhile, data analytics from the companies learn your habits of consumption, what your preferences are and who you interact with. The use of this information is precious to predict economic trends and social relationships.

Disruptive innovation and behavior have also been a topic of discussion for governments, as it shapes society. In fact, this year’s World Bank Development Report reflects the relationship of decision making and policy development. If the process of decision making is the result of an interaction between mind and context, then disruptive innovation plays a direct role as to what we think automatically on general topics such as economy, environment, and others. And it also plays a direct role on how we think socially, such as what our social preferences, identities and networks are. Intelligence agencies and policy makers must learn to cross this sort of information in order to build a global view of what is best for society.

Therefore, in a world where globalization is inevitable, we will behave accordingly to the spur of disruptive technology. Hence, technology will evolve to our feedbacks and bridge the way we relate and interact with each other. It is a perennial relationship, for it influences how we consume, how we live in cities and in society and how we make decisions, as citizens and as policy makers.


For those who are interesting in reading more about this topic, here is a link to the full World Bank Development Report:  http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2015

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