The digital world is here, and with it every business must re-assess its basic beliefs. People, businesses, household objects…everything is going online.

The internet is everywhere, accessed fast and seamlessly through devices from the familiar to the surprising.

Growth is exponential, driven by mobile networks, smart devices and increasingly the “internet of things”, in every device in your home, in your car… The consequence? The relationship between business and its customers is becoming ever more personal, context-aware and immediate.

Yesterday’s rule book has been torn up! Whole industries are being created and disrupted. Today’s business models are redundant as value is created in ways that we previously couldn’t even imagine.

Retailing. Telephony. Photography. Music. TV. Financial services. Even taxis!

Creativity is getting ever-faster. Great features are just not enough to differentiate – anything can be copied quickly, and now the barriers are low. Look at what’s happening in the mobile industry:

Mobile Network Operator: Around 12-18 months to deliver a significant new product.

Over-the-Top Apps: Delivered in around 1/3 of the time.

Remember Darwin? These digital competitors are evolving and adapting faster than the very businesses that dominated until recently. They deliver fast, learn and improve very, very quickly.

What we are seeing in this world is therefore that product features are becoming increasingly irrelevant: any successful product will be swiftly be copied by competitors.

Miles Cheetham, June 2015