Ruthless Prioritization vs Ruthless Self-Disruption

Ruthless prioritization is the phrase frequently thrown in corporate boardrooms to focus resources on fewer projects to produce the most competitive advantage. I’d argue that ruthless prioritization is the sure way to make your company a one-hit-wonder. Multi-generational companies routinely find new ways to serve their customers. Because if they fail to do so, other companies will disrupt them.

Google notoriously built products like Gmail as a side project, which laid the foundation for the Gsuite offering today. Amazon started AWS on the side and quickly realized the margins for cloud services is way better than selling physical goods online.

On the inverse, there are countless examples of companies prioritizing their existing business model and failed to see disruption coming. Blockbuster did not invest in video streaming, Kodak missed the train on digital cameras. Both of them knew of the new technology and had opportunities to acquire a large market share, but they were afraid that the new technology would disrupt their existing business model so they kept prioritizing for maximizing profits in the short term.

The new framework for (technology) companies should be ruthless self-disruption. It is inevitable that new technology will disrupt existing business models. Companies need to prioritize beating their competition to disrupt themselves first.