The Virtual CMO Podcast
Season 7, Episode 3
In episode 103, host Eric Dickmann interviews Terry Jones. Terry is a travel and IT veteran, serial entrepreneur, speaker, and author of “On Innovation” and “Disruption Off.” He is also known as the “Digital Disruptor” who founded five startups with two billion-dollar IPOs -Kayak and Travelocity.
He has served on 17 corporate boards and his reputation has established him as a thought leader on innovation and disruption. As a speaker, author, venture capitalist, and board member, Terry has been helping companies use the tools and techniques he has developed to keep succeeding in our fast-changing world. He has presented in over 25 countries to more than 300 companies.
In addition to writing and speaking, Terry currently serves as a Director for SonicWall and is Chairman of the Board for the Camping and Education Foundation.
Listen on Apple Podcasts
Keeping Up with Digital Disruption
Digital Disruption is a factor in today’s ever-changing landscape and businesses that fail to respond do so at their own peril. Kodak monopolized the camera market for the majority of the 20th century, but Canon and Sony overtook them because they refused to respond to the rise of new technologies. They failed to realize that digital cameras were the future, even though they owned some of the original patents on the technology. Instead of reinventing its approach to satisfy consumer demand, Kodak fought change to protect a legacy business and declared bankruptcy in 2012.
What is Digital Disruption?
Digital Disruption means change. Many may take disruption negatively, but in reality, it can allow businesses to reflect on how they can serve their customers better. Despite being unique and helpful in its way, disruption can be a painful and challenging process.
Why is digital disruption good for businesses?
- Digital disruption increases customer satisfaction.
- It helps companies scale.
- Disruption encourages innovation and evolution in the workplace.
Highlights from Our Conversation with Terry:
“Well, look, innovation and disruption are two sides of the same coin. The only reason you call it a disruption is because you didn’t do it. If you did it, it would have been an innovation.”
- [00:05:35] Travel is the largest part of e-commerce- Travel is the largest and most complicated part of e-commerce. Years ago, Wall Street was expecting E-Bay or E-Toys to be the e-commerce leaders, but it turned out that travel achieved the top spot.
- [00:10:37] How do you pivot your thinking in a way to find that open market space? Even though there were many travel websites already, Kayak looked to find a unique approach to displaying airline information. Rather than duplicating what was already out there, they looked to disrupt the industry with a unique approach.
- [00:13:00] Winning by digital disruption- Businesses don’t need to change the world; they just have to design their services to be more accessible and helpful to their customer base. Companies succeed because they are able to find a better way to meet the needs of their customers.
- [00:19:10] What is the key to really being effective when disruptions happen? – Innovation and digital disruption are two sides of the same coin. You’ve got to change and experiment, or you’re going to die.
- [00:21:11] CMOs are risk-takers- CMO’s experiment and sometimes those experiments fail. This is one of the major reasons why their term is short compared to other company positions.
- [00:27:25] What aspects of business did you wish you had implemented earlier on?- AI is an additive to products and services; it makes the brand stand out even better. So, if your competitor has machine learning and you don’t, they are getting smarter every day, leaving your business behind.
- [00:30:38] Maximizing company data- Everything is based on data. Build a nice data ocean and use AI and machine learning to get at it. This can unlock innovation and disruption within an industry.
- [00:35:43] With the technology today, you can literally prototype anything!- Terry urges businesses to experiment. Companies can prototype and test everything at a lower cost than producing something without testing it first!