Every company wants to grasp the holy grail of competing: to disrupt so thoroughly you make your competition irrelevant. But a disruptive competitive strategy doesn’t last forever. There is a disruptive attitude, though, that might.
Disruption and the blue ocean are the holy grails of competing. With them, you don’t even have to compete.
Blue ocean is pacific. It’s gentle; it doesn’t bother anyone; it’s just something wonderful and new. Disruption is the bad boy of holy grails. It sees the party going on at your house and lures everyone away to the party at its house.
Disruption is the ultimate buzzword for raising capital. Starting Walmart merely makes you rich. Starting Google makes you rich and cool.
But we are strategists and we demand more than generalities and party metaphors. Is disruption really the holy grail of competing? I’ll conclude that it is, but not of the we-don’t-even-have-to-compete variety. (I’m going to meander a bit on the way.)
In a sense, all extant companies were disruptive at least once because they lured customers to attend the party at their houses. But that’s about as useful as remarking that all extant humans breathe air. “Disruptive” must mean more than breathing. What more it means is a bit unclear.
Walmart is number one on 2014 Fortune 500 list. Its revenues top the combined budgets of California, New York, and Ohio. They top the annual budget of the Netherlands.
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