CEO Reads: Digital Darwinism

Digital Darwinism

This was a really quick and compelling read if you are interested in the current digital disruption happening across every industry. Tom Goodwin has written quite a lot of articles, blogs and presentations about this issue and is very well known in advertising and marketing circles. This is his first book. 

What I really liked about this book is that Goodwin combines a real knowledge of history and uses that to explain the challenges with the digital change now for business.  He provides compelling statistics, access to his sources at the end of each section and provides real challenges for the business community to take up new thinking.  He also explains how new ‘upstarts’ can challenge and topple existing industries with new thinking.  One of the key issues that really resonated with me is his comments on how existing industries and businesses have only used digital solutions as add-ons for their existing business models and have not really asked key questions about the way / how they do their business.  One of his challenging questions is ‘How would your business look if it was founded today?’ He also posits the view that industries need to completely rethink how they connect with their users and to really understand the new drivers and values of customers today. They also need to understand the real changes in behaviour that the new technology is driving if the business is to be viable in the future, for example ‘convenience’ as a value now trumps ‘free’ and consumers now choose experiences that include good Wi-Fi and this can tip a decision'. 

I used some of his information in my recent keynote at the ALIA Top End Symposium Digital Fluency: A Librarian’s Toolkit as it was so relevant to the Library industry and what we are being challenged by.  His most compelling argument about the digital disruption that we are all experiencing though is that it is not about the ‘Tech’. Creativity, Empathy, Curiosity and Audacity are the key to thinking differently for a business in today’s disruptive environment – and he really lets us know that the disruption is ongoing and will topple giant businesses if they do not become more agile and creative as traditional slow development will not drive success anymore. 

If you are interested you can follow him on Twitter or check out his website here   and of course read the book.

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