Oct21

Don’t Become A Digital Dodo

With so much innovation going on in the tech world, you don’t want to get left in the dust. Take a look at how some of today’s companies are overtaking “digital dodos.”.

We live in a unique world of technology that is unlike any other era in history. Our world, whether it be business, recreation or family life, has been greatly affected by the growing tech industry. Breakthroughs in innovation have replaced some traditional business ideas and practices that have been around for almost a century.

The phrase “Digital Darwinism” sums up the revolution that is occurring before our eyes. Just as Charles Darwin proposed that if a species didn’t evolve it would eventually become extinct, the world of tech suggests that if a company isn’t constantly evolving and utilizing or creating the latest technology, it will eventually die off.

SAP’s chief executive, Bill McDermott, said:

“Anywhere we look – sports, healthcare, manufacturing, finance and government – digital transformation is a pervasive force. Our customers are increasingly facing a difficult choice today: they either adapt or they die.”

Adapt or die is right. A company that plans on keeping their exact same plan for 10 years will never make it that far. That’s why we saw Blockbuster crumble as Netflix became a movie-streaming powerhouse. MySpace fell because Facebook wasn’t afraid to innovate. And digital cameras are a dying industry now that smartphones have cameras with twice the megapixels.

So who are the innovators? Which companies are taking advantage of the “digital dodos” and transforming their industry? We looked at five examples of organizations who have used technology to pounce on the digital dodos of yesterday to create a promising future for their company:

Uber

Uber has taken off around big cities all over America. With their low fares and convenient payment system, why would anyone choose the alternative?

Uber is an app that connects you with an Uber driver – basically a contracted taxi driver – near you. You tap in where you are and a driver will pick you up directly from your current location. Payment is handled through the secure app so your account gets charged and the driver gets paid. Everything is done conveniently through your mobile phone. Uber rates vary by city, but they are significantly lower than a traditional taxi.

The innovators at Uber took a traditional service that was at a standstill, and completely revamped the idea by making everything much cheaper and much more convenient. The taxi industry is seeing a huge decline in business as millions are choosing Uber over taxis.

Uber is now in 60 countries around the globe and continues to see steady growth. It is currently worth about $40 billion.

Airbnb

You no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a night to stay in a hotel room. Now you can just stay at a random stranger’s house for much cheaper! Or, the safer alternative, rent out someone’s spare apartment.

Airbnb is a company that arranges for people to stay with local hosts while they’re on vacation or traveling for work. You simply enter where and when you want to go, along with how many guests, and Airbnb matches you with a fitting host.

This new take on the hotel industry has changed how people take vacations. Airbnb currently has hosts in over 190 countries, with more expansion coming every day.  The company is currently valued at around $25.5 billion.

Netflix

We can’t talk about digital dodos without including the classic case of Blockbuster and Netflix. Netflix used emerging technology – primarily online streaming – to create a service that made renting a movie even easier than driving to the movie store.

Blockbuster looked like an unstoppable force, but they failed to innovate and Netflix took advantage. In fact, Netflix was started by Reed Hastings, a Blockbuster customer who was turned off by a $40 late fee.

Hastings strives to continue developing new ideas and creating even better products. Netflix is currently worth about $28 billion, just $2 billion less than the television network CBS.

PayPal

PayPal was started in 1999 as a security software for handheld devices such as PalmPilots. The original idea never took off, so the founders decided to start focusing on electronic wallets.

In 2002 PayPal left their original ideas behind and teamed up with eBay. From there, PayPal took off and and became the world’s largest online payment website. Although their initial ideas didn’t work out as planned, PayPal continued to innovate and avoided becoming a digital dodo.

PayPal just became independent earlier this year and was independently valued at $49.5 billion, even more than its former parent company, eBay.

Google

And then there’s Google. The perfect example of a company that refuses to become a digital dodo is everyone’s favorite search engine, browser, online map service…you get the idea.

Google has entirely changed how we use technology. Google search has connected us with information available with just a couple of clicks of a mouse. Google Maps basically took Garmin and other GPS services out of the picture. Chrome is the most widely used web browser in the world and continues to release new features. Google even has a controlling handle on the smartphone industry with Android and the Nexus phone.

While other companies are content with what they’re doing, Google is always a few steps ahead, like investing $1 billion in SpaceX. Google is voted as one of the most innovative companies year in and year out, while also attracting the top tech, marketing and engineering talent in the world.

Google is currently valued at around $367.6 billion.

There are of course hundreds of other brands that avoid becoming digital dodos. For example, Tesla, Apple and Adobe just to name a few. But for every innovative force, there are three or four digital dodos that are getting left behind. Don’t let your company be that digital dodo.

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