Market age causes disruption

Markets are not disrupted by brilliant ideas but by consumers that missed the market education!

There’s always going to be new people. That is why it’s never too late. The new people miss the background, values and attitude which helped their older peers fit the market.

Countless frustrated new consumers will try anything but the old models. We need something to measure market age. Old markets are filled with new people who want out.

The new models need to be culturally fit to the new market. If they are, their consumers will disrupt it.

Just take a look at the endless flow of Excel competition, new ways to write, new ways to publish, no code, appified everything. It’s not that the new ways are objectively better that justify market disruption. Market disruption is a cultural phenomenon.

When there is a generational shift brands need to adapt. And they do. But products are not as flexible as brands. Some products which do not posess any intrinsic quality just fake it. Sodas that were cool in the the 20’s of last century are cool in the 20’s of this century.

Most products have their own idiosyncrasies which have to be synergic to the generational culture shift. When that synergy is lost, then the consumers are trapped in a market that is not fit for them anymore.

Products which manage to appeal to the cultural divide between incumbents and their new consumers will empower their users to “disrupt” the market, but moving in droves to the culture fit.

Examples:

  • anything that is holding people captive in enterprise but still uses the culture of 90s computing is to be disrupted.
  • anything where consumers are captive in a culture of waste is to be disrupted (lookin at you fashion)
  • anything where consumers are captive in a culture of scarcity is to be disrupted (it only started with cars)
  • anything where consumers are stuck in “low level do it yourself” mode is to be disrupted by subscription
  • no code is a disruption caused by increased consumer tech literacy, where people did not see software as magic and started to expect an empowering UX

The list can go on and on, but fundamentally be on the lookout for markets where there is a gap in the incumbent’s cultural baggage (not the brand! the product!) and the people who are actually in that market using the product.

Generations embracing cultural departures and adventures literally create new markets.