Sunday, October 5, 2014

Organisation-level constraints on entering New/Emerging markets & launching Disruptive products

An organisation may have several new disruptive product and service ideas. But what matters is how the organisation takes those ideas forward. There are examples where an organisation was first to come up with an idea. But it was some other company which recognized the potential and invested in its development and market launch. As you may be aware, the digital camera was first invented in Kodak!

Why does it happen that a successful organisation which has a great portfolio of products ideas, lose out to others who arrive late in market with similar products. Is it because of the people in that successful organisation or the processes or the culture or because of its customers?

__Existing product/service offerings defines an organisation in terms of the cost structure, profit margins, market size and customer segments. Any organisation cannot change its cost structure overnight, especially to one with lower overheads and thinner margins. Hence, there is a tendency to support product ideas which promise higher margins and are in line with existing cost structure.

__Similarly, when it comes to taking market feedback for product ideas, the sales and marketing personnel reach out to existing customer base. Though the product ideas may be more suitable for an entirely different and emerging market. Since, the existing offerings serve as a reference, an organisation expects the market size of a new idea to be at least as large as that of existing offerings. Smaller markets are not considered as they may not fulfill the desired growth rates of the organisation. 

Hence, when it comes to investing in new products/services, an organisation operates in confines of its cost structure, product margins and customer base. These are organisation level characteristics, independent of people working in it. Product/service ideas which serve existing customers and promise higher margins get support while other ideas starve for resources. 

However, there are ways to influence an organisation and to work-around (or break) its organisation level confines to launch disruptive products and enter new markets. Will discuss the same in upcoming posts. until then.. bye...

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