The New Disruptive Innovators Emerge – Dan Hodges

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Twenty-three years after the Mac computer, Steve Jobs created the iPhone and like the Mac, this new device was designed for the individual consumer.

Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” The iPhone innovation tsunami is now disrupting all aspects of modern life. Smartphones with Android operating systems are now available in India for as little as $25. The delivery of education, health information, tips for small business and much more is now available to millions at or near the bottom of the economic pyramid.

The explosive growth of smartphones, tablets, the app ecosystem, shopping and managing your life and business on mobile all over a four-year period has changed everything. Accordingly, inertia is not the best strategy for companies as behaviors continue to change at warp speed. On top of the changes in consumer behavior, a sea of data is now available to retailers, publishers and marketers. We are only at the beginning of the way data analysis is changing, media is being transacted and shopping is being revolutionized.

I believe the new innovators will be those who master context and personalization. How much context and personalization is enough and how much is too much? How can we make it simple? In Jobs’ words, "How do we get out of the way so there aren't a ton of features and buttons that distract from display?” The mash-up of smartphone data, sensors, social and location-based technology will create a potent consumer behavior blueprint to the future of marketing and will be the basis for a new revolution in CRM.

We need to see a new world and to think and act differently as we plan and invest in our products. We need to harvest the power of data, location and consumption patterns to provide a unique user experience to each person. We can see the manifestation of this customization in the physical world at our local coffee shop. Starbucks took the simple routine of drinking coffee to a new level with coffee shops where menu offerings and physical location are customized to the market.

I feel the best way to build value is to embrace change and serve our customers’ needs. As Jobs said, “Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.”

Dan Hodges is CEO and Founder, Consumers in Motion LLC. He can be reached atDan

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