One Innovator’s Dilemma!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

There is a concept called ‘disruptive innovation’ that essentially explains how industry-leading companies lose their market share or worse, go out of business, due to apathy, arrogance or simply a failure to adapt to change. Leading companies are often aware of new innovations and may even be the innovators themselves but they fail to take decisive action to commercially exploit the new trend or product. They delay investment in or implementation of innovations because they are profitable with the status quo and don’t see profits to be made or their own demise until it is often far too late. The theory was framed by Harvard’s Clayton Christenson’s 1997 watershed book called ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’.

Think about the pony express being knocked off by the telegram, the millions of horse breeders, stable hands & buggy builders being idled by the success of the Model T Ford or bookstores and printers being replaced by web commerce and tablets. Disruptive innovation has been around as long as the human race has been trading and bartering and trying to build a better mouse trap. Because the book emerged in the early days of the dot coms many writers and pundits only discuss disruptive innovation as it relates to high tech innovations. No doubt new tech companies have stolen the lunch money of many old guard enterprises that epically failed to adapt and fell hard from their lofty perches. Conventional wisdom deems almost any industry ripe for change, even one of the oldest and dirtiest professions. NO, I’m not talking about the boom-chickie-bomb-bomb industry.

I meant the other old and dirty profession of farming, specifically farming in greenhouses and nurseries. For generations horticulture and floriculture farmers have utilized many of the same resources in 2013 as their grandparents utilized in in 1963, or great grandparents used in 1913. Last month may have witnessed the first real signs of market share erosion for our competition as the PittMoss® pilot plant sprang to life. With the flick of a switch, well three switches actually, we made, packaged and delivered some really beautiful product. It was the proof of concept I have been awaiting for 15 long years. PittMoss® is 100% commercially viable.

Do I want to put people out of work or cause businesses to go into bankruptcy? Of course not but if my product is to succeed then others must lose market share and they’ll suffer from those loses. I mentioned to a reporter that my goal has always been to see the end of peat moss harvesting and the demise of companies, who ditch and drain wetlands. She was literally horrified that I had expressed such an opinion and I noticed an article never appeared in the paper. I guess this innovators dilemma is he doesn’t know when to keep his big freaking mouth shut when he is talking to someone who believes that ‘Everybody Gets a Participation Ribbon’. It’s not really my fault if those companies go out of business. It’s Disruptive Innovation, not me.

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About Mont @PittMoss

Just trying to change the world a little bit before I die & get old. Inventor of PittMoss® & Founder/CEO of PittMoss LLC. Ambridge, PA. www.pittmoss.com
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