Disrupt Yourself Or Someone Else Will

I think it’s pretty clear that we’re living through a period of history where everything is changing. Technology is driving those changes, and the pace of technological change is speeding up.

Here are some undeniable facts:

  1. Technology moves in one direction. It doesn’t go backwards.
  2. We live in a vast, complex, and innovative world. If there’s a way to do what you do better, cheaper, or faster, someone somewhere will figure it out.
  3. Eventually, that new way of doing things will win. It’s only a matter of time.
  4. The time it takes for new ideas to be adopted is accelerating.

I would love to debate these points with someone convinced that some or all of them were incorrect. Part of me wants to go back and provide copious amounts of research to defend them as assertions – as if it would be news. But I don’t think it would be worth it. We all know they’re true.

Given that, then, we have two options:

  • Expend energy trying to stop or slow the pace of change and eventually fail, or
  • Resign ourselves to the fact that things will change and try to guide things in the right direction.

The truth is that it’s often difficult to see our daily decisions from this perspective. When the question is whether to spend money on a new pay-per-click campaign or invest in more email marketing, bigger questions hardly seem to apply. The time frame for their success or failure is too short.

And this is, in effect, the question of our time – how soon will change matter?


Michael Sattler

With a career spent in founding and technical leadership roles with new and enterprise-level organizations, Michael Sattler is a veteran in technology strategy, operations, and product management. He’s spent decades in B2B and B2C SaaS product development, software and application design, engineering operations, new venture creation, and innovation practices.

He has scaled and managed technical teams from 2-50+ across three continents, led large-scale cross-functional program management, and founded or co-founded six companies.