Are you engaged in a disruptive business behavior?
Are you following the status quo, mirroring the practices of those who came before, or are you and your
Web enterprise doing something that frightens, confuses and excites? If not, you're middle of the road,
destined for mediocrity and to be forgotten in the archives of digital history. But whether you’re disruptive
by nature or not, it’s never too late to try.
Look around the Web business community over the
past 10-15 years. You'll find a line coursing nimbly
through the virtual hoard. This line separates those
that have done what has been expected, and those
that were once likely emerged in personal and professional
turmoil. The latter’s unique ideas were profoundly
disruptive and disorderly to the environment
of the time around them.
Think about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg,
a college kid that made a private college directory
public, to which big things have happened.
Think about Aaron Swartz, the recently deceased
American computer programmer, writer, political
organizer, and Internet activist who was in great part
responsible for the success of Reddit, the development
of RSS and the website framework web.py,
along with numerous other accomplishments.
It’s not hard to imagine that in any other environment,
under alternative circumstances, either of
these individual’s situation could have turned out
While there are many stories similar to those of
Zuckerberg, and, unfortunately, too many like that of
Swartz, they are far from the only ones new media
professionals like you and I should be concerned
with. The Web business community may at times
suffer a shortage of disruptive and disorderly individuals
(and companies) whose ideas truly spark
heated debate and change the environment around
them. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can do something
In your own company, are you seeking new and
different solutions to existing problems affecting those
who came before you? What marketing campaigns are
you currently running; what platforms are you building;
and what relationships are you investing in that
are truly memorable? If you're not actively causing
trouble, you're just...not. As Daniel Burnham once said:
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir
men’s blood and probably will themselves not be
Innovation, more specifically the act of innovating,
is like being in a bar fight (I can only imagine, as
I've never actually been in one) — if you're not skilled
in the intricacies of pugilism, you better start throwing
chairs and beer bottles or you're going to end up
on the floor.
Being disruptive of course is easier said than done.
It’s essential to have an attitude of, “I’m going to wake
up every day and fight for my idea, surprise people
and risk failure at every turn.” You need to prioritize
your ideas and pull the trigger only on those that will
move your enterprise forward, but doing so provides
the greatest opportunity and chance you and your enterprise
have of receiving reward for your grand ideas
George Elliot once said that, “it’s never too late, to
be what you might have been.” If your ’Net decisions
aren't disrupting the norm, breaking the rules and surprising
people, waste no more time and expend no
more energy. Start being disruptive by nature and
accelerate your success.