Top Take Aways from @BrianSolis Keynote – #2

By sethmsparks


2) “In an era of Digital Darwinism, no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed.”

Brian defines Digital Darwinism as “the evolution of consumer behavior when society & technology evolve faster than your ability to adapt”.  Basically, consumers are adapting to new technology faster than ever before, and big businesses that are too rigid and slow won’t be able to keep up. For example, most consumers (and more every day) expect mobile access to their financial institution data: accounts, transfers, check deposits, etc. Right now though, that expectation isn’t SO ingrained in consumers that it becomes a tipping point. Not yet anyway…

Digital Darwinism takes that principle and applies it across all technologies. If consumers can adapt faster to most any technology than businesses can execute creation & improvement of value through those services, businesses will die.

Brian’s first mention (that I can find) of Digital Darwinism in his blog was all the way back in September 2010, so this is obviously a topic that he’s spent significant time evaluating and researching. His original reference: “To connect with other human beings now [and] in the future is not only changing, it’s evoking a sense of Digital Darwinism.” This mention of the phrase, less focused on business and more tailored to a personal culture shift, is just as interesting as the business end of the phenomenon.

I personally have friends that took forever to join Facebook. And in the time between my joining and hyper-booking, my relationship with those slow to join individuals deteriorated. Taking that isolated example, and broadening it, this concept of Digital Darwinism has some pretty serious implications. Knowing that 20% of the US still doesn’t have access to the internet (Mary Meeker, 2011, P7), how displaced will those individuals be in their offline social circles?  Not to mention the societal impacts of political and cultural affluence that come along with connectedness. The same principles apply to the 35% of Americans missing out on the hyperconnectedness that comes with being a smartphone owner. I’m not saying that everyone HAS to have internet access, or HAS to own a smartphone… but as an individual, if you don’t, you may need to be cognizant of relationship blur that could form between you and others. It may require more diligence on each parties behalf to maintain the same level of relationship “proximity”.

If I had to summarize, like all things, Digital Darwinism impacts businesses and people. Brian Solis saw this coming years ago, probably well in advance of that 2010 blog post. His new book, “The End of Business as Usual” dives deeper into the ramifications of this, and even provides practical advise to help business manage this cultural shift. If you’re a business owner, sitting in the C-suite, or just plain interested in the changing psyche of today’s consumer, you need to read this book.

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