By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
In an era of fast technological innovation, companies are realizing the importance of staying ahead of the curve in order to stay ahead of the competition. If you’re not early, you’re late. Companies and industries are undergoing vast infrastructure changes to keep up with advances and to continuously strive to provide their customers with the most cutting-edge approaches.
In a recent INC. article, columnists expressed their opinions on the importance of staying ahead of the curve, predicting a client’s need, and how to not get left behind. Lee Colan, a leadership columnist, advises companies to continue strengthening what they are best at. With that said, continuing to play to your strengths, without considering what’s happening around you, can be dangerous for a company. Minda Zeltin, a business-tech writer, warns against this type of behavior. Zeltin says that human nature is to stick with what has worked in the past, but that can turn deadly for a company’s innovation.
Longstanding companies and entrepreneurial ventures alike will find success if they are flexible enough to quickly and adeptly change when facing (or foreseeing) threats or opportunities. Check out our roundup of four companies that had enough foresight to pivot when they saw change around the corner.
This giant online retailer has made headlines lately due to their interest in adding same-day drone delivery for items purchased. Proving, yet again, that it’s better to move forward and adapt to changes rather than getting stuck behind competitors. Consumers are growing more and more impatient, and two-day delivery just isn’t enough for some folks anymore. Being the first to offer this extremely valuable and useful shipping option certainly sets Amazon apart from other online retailers.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has been recognized for his nontraditional ideas for the company. In a Fortune Magazine article, Bezos stated that Amazon designs with the customer in mind, not as a form of competition either within the company or with their competitors. This way of thinking has allowed Amazon to innovate steadily, with investors continuously placing their money behind Bezos and Amazon, and therein proving that staying ahead of the competition may mean looking ahead and forgetting about your competitor, while focusing on your end user’s wants and needs.
Ridesharing giant Uber has continued its growth and development through two overarching strategies: fundraising and innovating. Since 2009, the company has raised $15 billion (with a current valuation of $68 billion) all while remaining a private company. According to a recent New York Times article, Uber continues to fundraise in order to deter investors from giving their money to competitors like Lyft, Halo, Gett, Juno and Didi Chuxing — a smart move.
Recognizing the rise of the on-demand economy (which Uber largely helped to create), they created a smart spinoff app — UberEATS, bringing their customers their favorite food at their fingertips. With the addition of UberEATS to the Uber portfolio, the company’s competitors have broadened to include other food delivery services (like Caviar, Postmates, and Favor), restaurants with to-go menus, and even supermarkets.
While it’s popular and gaining traction, UberEATS isn’t the first venture to spin off of the ridesharing app. According to Forbes, uberESSENTIALS launched in the D.C. metro area to bring everyday items to its customers in ten minutes or less and UBER Corner Store was similarly created to deliver corner store items to customers’ doors. While the two spinoffs were short lived, they’re part of Uber’s history of meeting their customers’ needs — creating innovative and technology-driven solutions for customers, before they even realize they need them.
Lowe’s, the home improvement retailer, recently started to develop software for store employees to use while assisting customers — making the retailer one of the first to use new technology to improve the customer experience. The apps allow customers to measure how much carpet is needed in a given area of space just by using a picture, and reading product reviews with 360-degree views of the product. Lowe’s developed something the customers — and employees — didn’t even know they needed, and it’s surely changing the in-store experience for both parties. Seeing an opportunity and capitalizing on it to make the customer’s life easier, using technology, is a surefire way to stay ahead of the game.
Anticipating customers’ needs before they even recognize them is a hallmark of development and innovation. At TSP, this strategy has been a major reason for our growth, with both existing and new customers. We believe in going above and beyond fulfilling client needs, always thinking ahead to what they might need down the road. With this in mind, we just recently became certified as an AASP, or Authorized Apple Service Provider. While most our clients are primarily PC based right now, we expect that more and more will be making the transition to Apple products. By becoming an AASP now, we’ll be ready to service clients’ Apple devices, when they’re ready to make the switch.
Whether it be catering to client needs, designing new business solutions, or using technology to help your workforce perform better, smart companies are seeing positive results from innovating ahead of the curve. With the fast pace of the tech world, even being behind by one day can be the difference between success or failure. So stop and think — considering the busy and constantly changing world we live in, what do you foresee your customers wanting or needing in the future?