Has Disruptive Technology Affected Social Media?

Has Disruptive Technology Affected Social Media?
Ever have one of those “Aha” moments? Where you discover the answer to a question you’ve been ponderin’ for some time and suddenly the universe seems to fall into place? I believe it is called an epiphany.

I ran across an article on disruptive technology and have not been able to get it out of my mind ever since. I started thinking, how does it apply to social media? For those of you who did not read my post on this technology, and I can’t imagine who that would be, disruptive technology starts out small and ends up replacing standard technology, forever changing our lives.

Early cell phone were very cumbersomeAn example would be cell phones. They weren’t taken very serious when they first came out. For one thing the equipment was so cumbersome.My wife Patty, got me one for Christmas. When you added in the battery, it was so big she put it in a new briefcase.

Imagine my disappointment when I unwrapped a briefcase instead of a cell phone. How many hints can one individual drop before being too obvious?

As time progressed and size became less of an issue, they could be seen everywhere! As cell phone technology improved they become more practical in out livesIt wasn’t long before cell phones changed our lives forever.

When was the last time you saw a public pay phone around? Chalk it up to Disruptive Technology.

Motown Museam - where so much great music was createdGrowing up near Detroit, I bopped to the sound of Motown and, what is now considered to be old time Rock ‘n Roll. Music became a big part of our lives. I still remember where I was the first time I saw the Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan show.

I want to hold your hand was the Beatles first big hit in the US..My first record was a 45 of the Beatles my mother bought me. I wore it out. There were many nights that I fell a sleep while being serenaded by John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

45 rpm adapter
I had to use the yellow spacer, a 45 rpm adapter,that disappeared when LP’s became the new norm. If you grew up in the 60/70s, your children probably don’t even know what this is.
Music disruption evolution
Blockbuster Store ClosingsBlockbuster
Who really believed that Blockbuster was closing their doors?(Distruptive Technology strikes again)

Disruptive technology isn’t always a product.

Sam Walton the founder of Walmart
Sam Walton leveraged the power of buying in quantity and selling low, putting all these products into what is now lovingly referred to as the big box. Every town they went into the mom and pop shops eventually closed down. Everybody started buying from Walmart. Why not? They had everything under one roof, all at lower prices than anybody else.

Walmart the big boxWhen Walmart came into St. Cloud, Florida the bicycle repair shops eventually moved out of town. Most bait shops went by the wayside as well.
Al Gore who claimed he was the inventor of the internet Thanks to Al Gore, the Internet came into our lives. For the first time we started “surfing” for information online. Google
Google came along and offered us a better way to “surf.” Not only did we have information at our fingertips, we could now buy products online, and at cheaper prices because the brick and mortar overhead was no longer an expense added into the cost of the product.
Empty aisles - no slaes person to be found
In-store salesmen became harder and harder to find. Ever try finding an associate in Walmart when you wanted to solve a need? Once again, our buying habits changed. We quit going into stores looking for answers about products we plan to buy. We “googled” for answers to questions we had. We became informed buyers.We no longer needed to ask questions of in-store salesmen. We knew all about the product before we walked into the store.
Facebook Facebook changed the way we interacted with our “friends” online. We turned to the 300 friends we had and asked them for advice on what to buy. Who do we trust more than our friends? It shortened the buying cycle tremendously. Friends were posting pictures of the food they were about to eat from their favorite restaurants.
It didn’t take long before our friends were checking in at restaurants, bars, shops, everywhere!Today, there is even an app that notifies you of the specials around the town of the the hotel you just checked into. Wasn’t that the job of the hotel concierge?

Charmin even had an app that recommends what public bathrooms to use when you are traveling.

It finally dawned on me that the rise of Social Media is a direct result of what Disruptive technology has had on society as a whole.

The problem is we are so busy with the daily events in our lives that we don’t fully understand what has happened when the old faithful has been retired by the new and improved “latest thing.” We only appreciate the convenience added to our lifestyle.

The dilemma for a large business is that it takes time for a new technology to be applied to its business model. The smaller business can adapt more quickly to change, which is why they “take the ball and run with it.” By the time the big companies catch on, it’s too late. Microsoft kept building bigger and more bloated operating systems while smart phones started competing for the hearts and souls of everyday people. When they finally rolled out their smartphone, it was too late. The cell phone market was already saturatied

Graphic designer

As a graphic designer, I spend most of my time working on a desktop system from my home. It took me several years before I relented and bought my first smartphone. I justified the expense because I was developing mobile websites for my clients. How can I design something I can’t see?
That was over three years ago.

Recently I realized I left my phone at Ace Hardware and panicked! I almost did a U-turn in heavy traffic. The thought flashed before my eyes, “My entire life is in that phone, I cannot lose it” I had finally upgraded my trusty S3 to the new Samsung Note 5. I eventually realized how powerful these little devices are and started using it as my personal assistant. It sets right along my desktop and notifies me of my next appointment or anything else planned for that day.

“Did you know that there are more mobile phones in the world than there are toothbrushes?”

You still may be thinking, “How does this apply to my small business? Besides, I just don’t have the time to spend on Social media.”

Sorry we're closed sign

Remember what Disruptive Technology does. It disrupts current technologies and replaces them with new and improved technologies, technologies that enhance our lives, and if you do not stay on top of what is changing you may find yourself hanging out the “Sorry We’re Closed” sign.


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About the Author: Rick Clark

Rick founded Rick' Creative Designs, an innovative digital design printshop, when those around him were still using linotype machines. He earned his degree as an Internet Professional, enhancing his repertoire as a "Creative Specialist." Today, he runs Clark Media, Inc. where he brings his creativity and experience to the forefront in web, print, social and mobile media.