Getting Prolific, Day 35: Disrupting Your Industry
Which of your assets are lying around the internet underutilized?
Since artificial intelligence has already changed the way individuals gather data, make choices, automate tasks and connect with each other, why wouldn’t the same model apply to organizations?
Why wouldn’t organizations start using the power of machine learning to make more complex decisions, rather than hiring the traditional high cost, labor intensive, human based consultants?
The trends pointing to disruption.
Alexa uses algorithms and models to analyze people, companies, markets and economies. Financial firms have been using roboadvisors for several years now. The democratization of information and knowledge made the historically secret best practices of consultants accessible to all.
It’s only a matter of time before the three hundred billion dollar consulting market is disrupted. We might look back fifty years from now with a quaint smile and laugh about how organizations actually use to fly in these expensive, pedigreed management consultants to use billable hours to tell them how poorly they were running their organizations.
Harvard’s writers reported on this trend recently. They say in today’s big data world, artificial intelligence and machine learning applications already analyze massive amounts of structured and unstructured data and produce insights in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of the consultants in the financial markets.
Moreover, machine learning algorithms are capable of building new computer models that make sense of complex phenomena, and this a process that would be difficult for even the largest and smartest consulting teams. Artificial intelligence could ultimately bring ultimately impartiality to difficult decisions where human cognitive biases often rule the day.
Combine that with the networking and community building power of modern digital tools, and you’ve got one hell of an industry disruption.
Even for people who don’t work in the consulting industry, the larger principle here is worth exploring. What we’re talking about is about using technology to connect the content to the customers faster and better.
That’s where the economic value is created. Whether you’re working at a used bookstore, software startup, marketing agency, nonprofit or a pizza joint. The question you have to ask is this:
How could you leverage data, machine learning, collaboration tools and other digital technologies to bring the individuals you serve valuable insight and judgment at a high speed and low cost?
Let me share a case study from my own business. When we were first launching Prolific, my personal creativity management software, one of our beta users joked that the product was like an artificial intelligence version of my brain.
And my response to him was, you ain’t kidding.
That’s exactly what this thing is, at least in its beta iteration. We built our product on top of a simple knowledge base technology that makes huge amounts of my intellectual property searchable and accessible to anyone, for an annual fee. It gives subscribers access to a library of hundreds of tools to help them execute their ideas and earn greater profits.
Now, this may not look like consulting in the traditional sense, but there are core elements of that business model in there. Remember, all a consultant is, is an experienced professional in a specific field who improves the client’s condition.
They have influence over an individual, group, or organization, but with no direct authority to implement changes. Prolific is a software application that accomplishes that in a digital way without my direct physical involvement.
Now, my little product is not going to singlehandedly disrupt the three hundred billion dollar consulting industry. What it may do, however, is inspire other entrepreneurs to think about ways they could leverage technology to bring unique value to the people they serve at a high speed and low cost.
Prolific might motivate you to give your customers, employees and fans access to deeper levels of expertise than wouldn’t be financially feasible for them to retain on their own.
How might you build a disruptive business model around all the value just lying around the internet underutilized?
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