What does it mean to be a digitally disruptive startup?

Disruptive: Relating to or noting a new product, service, or idea that radically changes an industry or business strategy, especially by creating a new market and disrupting an existing one.

Sound like your business? We hosted a panel session with Matt Rigby from The Pitch 2015 winning business Resolver and Tom Dewhurst from Bath-based Ordable to discuss what being disruptive actually means when running and scaling a business.

Are the wealth of digital tools available making it easier than ever to start a disruptive digital business with minimal risk?

Tom: I think technology is changing so rapidly these days. Small businesses are keeping on top of it much better than the larger ones. We are actively using the newest software and tools to run the business. We keep up to date with what’s going on in technology – you have to. It’s important to keep an eye on other companies to see what they are doing and learn from them to apply that to your own business.

Matt: It’s never been easier to create the reality of an idea without any infrastructure at all.

Obviously, as things grow you end up having to buy in more sophisticated tools and structures, but to start with all you need is a Google Drive, some shared documents, you don’t even need a computer. It’s all free these days, it’s all online. Then as you grow, you grow the business, using online resources try new tools and see what works for you.

Another part is not being committed to a certain tool. You can always swap out. If something’s not working, try something else.

Are consumers are more likely to be receptive to new digital businesses disrupting the market?

Matt: Perhaps it’s because it feels like an idea that’s sought to have existed before. I don’t’ know whether that’s because we are more receptive or whether that’s because it’s just the right idea at the right time. I think people are used to upgrading software and their devices. I think people are more prepared to try something new because there are fewer barriers in the digital space than before.

Tom: People are much more susceptible to change. A lot of bigger players have done a lot of the legwork, Deliveroo, Strype etc – making people feel confident using mobiles for payments. Even a couple of years ago people wouldn’t have put credit cards details in an app. It’s things like that you take for granted but is actually integral to our businesses and many others.

Has social media had a direct impact on your strategy for growth?

Tom: It goes hand in hand with a digitally disruptive business. What you’re trying to achieve is people using something in a digital manner, for us it’s a mobile platform so when people are using social platforms on their mobile that’s exactly the platforms that we want to actively be marketing to.

If you get it right, it can explode. Hitting a lot of angles at the same time. Word of mouth is ultimately still our main marketing method, and that happens online as well as face-to-face.

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Holly Sawyer
Holly is the Marketing Manager at Inkwell, the company behind The Pitch.

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