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This article was written in response to the rise of venture capital focused on construction technology and disruptive startups, such as Katerra. In it, by examining case studies from other industries, we explored how industry disruption was unfolding. The article is as relevant today as when it was written; these drivers are just as present now as they were then.
For our research, we reviewed case studies such as Apple’s disruption of the music industry, Netflix’s disruption of Blockbuster and Kodak’s failure to adapt to digital photography. Based on our evaluation, the notion of disruption as a “tornado in the night” is misguided. Instead, disruption follows a pattern similar to that of a hurricane—a force we see coming but can only avoid by staying out of its path. In each case, there was ample warning for incumbents to stay ahead of changes that under-mined their business models, although each failed to do so for a variety of reasons, as we explored in the article.
As we look to the potential impact of industry disruption on the Built Environment, we would expect a similar pattern. When innovation and technology do significantly change how the industry operates, there will be companies that don’t make changes necessary to stay ahead. At the same time, there will be others that do stay ahead. The primary difference between the two will come down to adept leadership with a disciplined focus on how to best serve client needs in the face of a changing industry landscape.
This article was originally published March, 2018.