Google Squared Journey- Week 1

So a few weeks ago I laid out my manifesto about my attitude and general feelings towards work. (You can read it here). In this I spoke about my need for a change and my desire to re-skill and better myself. A large part of that is the Google Squared course that I am currently working through- if you would like to see more on this, you can find the course details here.

The course is designed to give you practical experience in the Digital World, teach you the theory and encourage you to work collaboratively with people all around the world and reflect upon what you have learnt. In large, this Blog should get better the more I learn and develop through the course and become the early result of me ‘bettering myself’. As mentioned, a major part of this course is reflection, so I will be using this blog (among the myriad of other random posts) to reflect on what I have learnt, what I think of it and how I can use it to better myself.

Week 1- Disruptive Thinking

Week 1 was all about disruption. In my business at the moment, the idea of disruptive thinking is all the rave, so I imagine a lot of businesses are taking a similar approach. The strategy is simple, your new idea should ‘disrupt the market’, bring something new to the category and steal share and space from your competitors. It could also be something new that changes the category and the players in it. At its core, Digital Marketing is disruptive as it is changing how businesses function. The likes of Amazon are dominating retail now, and with their purchase of Whole Foods you can see they are looking to disrupt the grocery business. You look at the proportion of online sales for the likes of Tesco and Asda, they are minor compared to the sales in Supermarkets. Amazon are clearly looking to disrupt this.

I find this all so fascinating as it doesn’t just reflect upon the business’s decision, but society as a whole. We are all so focused on our phones, or tablets or laptops that everything we do is at our fingertips. The grocery trip can now be done from home without leaving the house, price matched online and delivered within 24 hours. Amazon’s addition of the Dash, a little button linked to a certain product ie, Andrex, means that when you run out, you press the button and it automatically orders it (see here). This is disrupting the very need to go out shopping for your necessities and arguably removing the need to plan ahead.

The task we were given was to think of an industry and how it could be disrupted. I discussed the above, in relation to Retail and discussed the cost benefits of losing the Supermarkets and delivering to Consumers direct. Some of my colleagues had some fascinating ideas however, discussing the impact this will also have on the likes of Education and the NHS. Obviously the idea of disruption isn’t necessarily always Digital. One person was discussing the idea of consultations in Pharmacys which means the day to day illnesses of sore throats etc are seen in the likes of Boots, therefore freeing up pressure on the NHS. Also the idea that VR and our approach to Education has evolved created some good discussion points.

The word ‘Disruption’ has negative connotations, as you think of something stopping you from doing what you are doing. And to the competitors of those creating these disruptive ideas it can be seen as negative. However, it can also been seen as progress. The word needs to be seen in a much less negative light in my mind as its only through disruption that we can facilitate change. We wouldn’t be here now if people weren’t challenging the status quo and bringing new, ‘disruptive’ ideas to the table.

That’s enough reflection for now. I have things to do, Pokemon to catch and food to eat! Hopefully there will be some interesting insights in these posts, but I also appreciate any challenge/discussion that comes out of it. At the end of the day, this is a learning process for me and I hoping that I come out a little better than I go in!

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