5 Ways to Emerge as the Disruptor in Your Industry


In his book Zero to One, PayPal Founder Peter Thiel emphasizes the long-term value of vertical innovation. In fact, vertical innovation is the meaning of “Zero to One.” The phrase means going from nothing to something by introducing a new technology or solution into the marketplace.

Think Facebook. Facebook introduced a solution that didn’t previously exist. Today that company owns its entire market and is worth billions.

Of course, the rest of us aren’t Facebook. We work in the world of horizontal innovation – doing more of what already exists. For us, success comes from being a “disruptor” – meeting your competition head-on and changing the game by playing better, smarter and more efficiently.

Becoming a disruptor is not just for the corporate giants of the world like Facebook. You can be at the forefront of industry disruption in your market!

Just follow these best practices for driving disruptive innovation in your industry.  


  1. Stay Flexible

    Have you heard the buzzwords for today’s companies? “Pivot,” “lean,” “nimble,” or even “disruptive.” They all mean one thing – a willingness to embrace change. We put this best practice at the top of the list because it’s the first essential step to becoming an industry disruptor. Stay flexible and ready. When the change comes, you’ll embrace it.


  2. Concentrate on the Aim

    Military strategy calls it “the objective,” a legal brief calls it “the intent,” and a business plan calls it “the goal.” No matter what you call it, we’re referring to the principal reason for your business. Your aim is to solve a problem. Your customer has pain points, and you’re striving to solve them.


  • Simplify the process
    What’s the standard path to solving your customer’s solution? Make it simpler. Put more white space on the UX, use fewer buttons, automate certain predictable steps. In other words, improve customer experience and get them to where they’re going faster.
  • Take a new perspective
    Telling your team to “think outside the box” is trite, overused and boring. But it’s true. Don’t get stuck in routines and small struggles. Constantly encourage and reward people who think of new ways of doing things. It’s what a business disruptor does.
  • Leverage the pain points
    When you’re stuck (and something is always stuck), go back to first principles. Remember where you started? Tackling a customer’s pain points? What were those? Have they changed? Has your product evolved enough to tackle it better, faster or more efficiently?


  1. Make Your Customers Part of Your Planning 

    Imagine there’s a beautiful new café in your neighbourhood. It has the location, the ambience and the offerings. However, you notice that amid the daily crowds there’s always a particular person sitting at the most prominent table and staring at their laptop. After a few visits, you realize that person is the owner. Yet in all the times you’ve been there, that person has never lifted their head, greeted a customer, or even bothered to look at what people are doing. They’re entirely focused on the process. Ask them to describe their typical customer and they won’t have an answer. How can you solve your customer’s problems if you’ve never asked them what they are?


  2. Never Stop Learning

    Become an expert on your industry, the latest trends and your customer’s businesses. Read the trade publications, attend the conferences, review the websites. Keep your ear to the ground. Constant learning and insight is the road to your next breakthrough.


  3. Leverage Technology

    Think UBEREats. Uber connects restaurants and customers, provides the drivers, and ensures payment and delivery. But Uber does not own or maintain a fleet of cars. Their technology was a disruptive idea of creating a new self-sufficient, easy-to-manage industry. They saw a gap in an already-established industry and they moved to disrupt the trend.


Ceterna Group can Make You a Disruptor

As masters of the digital transformation – Ceterna Group has inside-out knowledge of the processes, tools and connections that can help you emerge as an industry disruptor.

Contact Ceterna today.