Get the key ideas from

Digital Darwinism

Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Digital Disruption

By Tom Goodwin
12-minute read
Audio available
Digital Darwinism: Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Digital Disruption by Tom Goodwin

Digital Darwinism (2018) provides some much-needed insight into what makes a business truly disruptive and what executives should be focusing on in order to stay successful in today’s fast-changing global marketplace.

  • Entrepreneurs and startup founders
  • People in established businesses seeking change
  • Marketing and sales gurus

Tom Goodwin is head of innovation at Zenith Media. He’s also been a contributor to TechCrunch, the Guardian, Inc., GQ and Forbes. His writing on technology, advertising and marketing solutions has also appeared in the New York Times and the Economist

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Digital Darwinism

Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Digital Disruption

By Tom Goodwin
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Digital Darwinism: Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Digital Disruption by Tom Goodwin
Synopsis

Digital Darwinism (2018) provides some much-needed insight into what makes a business truly disruptive and what executives should be focusing on in order to stay successful in today’s fast-changing global marketplace.

Key idea 1 of 7

Digital Darwinism is about adapting to a changing world and having a willingness to make fundamental changes.

We often think in terms of “survival of the fittest.” But what does that mean for businesses today, when rapid global change is an ongoing concern? You may think that the most successful companies will always be the massive ones with teams of experts and billions to spend.

But, as the author sees it, darwinism in the digital age is about being able to flourish by taking advantage of that rapid global change – it’s about being able to adapt quickly to whatever the uncertain future may bring.

Big businesses with a global reach that have been around for 30 to 50 years are no longer the most successful companies out there. In fact, these businesses may be at a disadvantage. After all, they can easily end up so stuck in their ways that they find it difficult to make any changes at all. 

For example, Sony invested greatly in making devices such as the Walkman and Discman to play music on cassettes or CDs. This helped them become the market leaders. And then MP3 and digital music happened. Sony could have moved into this new, and potentially very lucrative market. But if this digital music really took off, what would happen to all the Walkmans and Discmans? They’d be outdated. They wouldn’t sell. So, Sony saw the move to digital as a very risky act of self-disruption. As a result, the company was hesitant to move in the new market and it lost its leading position to more disruptive rivals.

Instead, too many businesses are only willing to make small gestures toward embracing new technologies. The author refers to this as a “bolted-on” approach. An example of this is when a bank creates an app that allows a check to be deposited by snapping a photo of it, rather than rethinking the need for using paper checks in this day and age. They’re simply wedging technology into a dying system.

A good analogy is Heathrow Airport, London. Bucket-loads of money have been spent trying to update Heathrow, despite the fact that it’s located in an area that makes it difficult for planes to maneuver and will be an unwieldy mess no matter how many alterations are made. At some point, a new airport will be built with room to grow in a practical location using modern technology at its very core. In other words, simply trying to update a burdensome, outdated system is unsustainable. 

For legacy businesses, it’s essentially the same situation. Instead of tweaking an ailing system, you must be willing to make fundamental changes in order to truly adapt.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.