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EVENTS · Nordic Morning

Digitalization – a mindset, a disruption or something completely different?

18.10.16

Nordic Business Forum gathered over 5,700 business executives to achieve advantage by marketing, culture and digitalization. What were the key findings and takeaways on digitalization and disruptive development of our times?

By: Hanna Isohanni-Nikula, a strategist from Sitrus
Image: © Nordic Busines Forum and Studio Kraft

The future of entrepreneurship: thinking big, solving problems

”The world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities”, said Peter Diamandis. Our history is local – since the beginning of times we have known only the people near us. During the last decades, however, the world has grown smaller and right now all of us are leading a global life – for better or for worse, both online and offline.

The other thing Diamandis pointed out is that as species we are naturally linear thinkers. This means that exponential growth, which at first sight seems to be very linear, will surprise us if we aren’t tuned in to see the forthcoming disruption.

As more and more people get access to the web – to make a connection, and basically to get access to all the information in the world – it’s going to be a huge opportunity for those who grasp the potential.

Diamandis’ point of view was very human-centric, and many seminar guests were inspired by his message: “the best way to become a billionaire is to help a billion people”.

This looks promising for our future, doesn’t it?

Learnings from a digital product-centric company

Digital products have shaped our everyday life ever since the breakthrough of the commercial internet in the beginning of the nineties. As Peter Diamandis stated, the development seemed linear at first. Now there are 3 billion smartphone users in the world, and digital products are increasingly both purchased and used online.

Intercom’s Des Traynor gave his speech from a B2B software point of view, but I think he highlighted many key learnings that all kinds of companies can find usable.

First and foremost is the product’s vision. The impact you want to make with your product must be the core of the strategy. You need to constantly ask yourself how you can achieve the change you want to make with your particular product. There can only be one vision, although there may be several tactics and ways to achieve it.

The second learning concerns the product itself. Not only does it have to be viable and feasible, but also desirable. As the business model for recurring revenues (monthly paid) becomes more and more relevant for both the B2B and B2C businesses, the users must experience the value of the product or service you are selling. This is something that digital service providers need to take into account when looking at the metrics and numbers: growing churn is always a sign of people NOT loving your product or service as much as you had expected.

The third takeaway is something every business should discuss: the focus of the company and everyday prioritizing.

If you draw a fourfold and compare tasks with high or low impact and high or low effort, it is obvious that you should stay out from the high effort and low impact box. The trickiest place is, however, the sector with low effort things that also have a low impact on your goals. “This is where we end up when we don’t have a strategy”, Traynor pointed out.

Vision, products and execution are means to create and communicate value to the end customer. “The true value for the user can be much more than what they are paying for. Charge for value, only for value, and always for value”.

If you want to see what kind of value digitalization brings to different branches of business, check out what these decision-makers had to say at Nordic Business Forum.