Firms today are establishing market leadership by mastering digital innovation. For example, the traditional "Mad Men" advertising agencies now have to be able to blend digital products and services with creative strategy. Amazon is as much a retailer and supply chain powerhouse as it is a digital innovator. Similarly, the Netflix business model is heavily reliant on continuously building and enhancing digital products and services to compete against incumbents in the entertainment industry. Ford is realizing that its future competitors are likely to be Facebook and Google and not BMW and Toyota. Meanwhile, Local Motors, an HBS-alum led startup, is using crowdsourcing, digital fabrication and 3D printing to disrupt the automotive industry.

Digital Innovation and Transformation is a Harvard Business School course designed to equip students to confidently help conceive, lead and execute digital innovation initiatives. To enrich the course experience, Professor Greenstein have elected to use this platform for assignments. The goal of using Open Knowledge is to stimulate deeper conversation, cross-pollination between ideas, and inclusion of the global "digital transformation" community.

We invite you to read more and dive in by adding your own thoughts through contributions and comments.

Assignments

Digital Winners and Losers

March 05, 2019

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Digital technologies are upending many industries and companies. Think about Uber’s impact on the taxi business or Spotify’s impact on music downloads.

For this assignment, please identify companies/organizations that you think are winning and losing due to the same transformation.  Do most of the work on the winners, and focus less on the losers, devoting attention to winner/losers according to a ratio approximately 3/1. Why are they a winner and why is the other organization a loser? Discuss the key elements of how the winner creates and/or captures value that is leading you to call them a winner. Similarly for why you are calling the other firm a loser.

Create an approximately 1000-1200 word post to make your contribution by Tuesday, March 5, at 8 p.m.

Please also respond to and comment on three other posts per module. Comments are due by Wednesday, March 6, at 10 a.m. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Selected posts will be discussed in class and also featured on the HBS Digital Initiative website.

Please prepare a 2-3 min summary of your blog post before class.

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Innovative Platforms

February 24, 2019

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Digital technologies give rise to a variety of platforms. Uber matches drivers and riders. iTunes makes apps available for iPhone users.

For this assignment, please identify companies/organizations that you think have an innovative platform. Why are they innovative? Discuss the function of the platform, two or three interesting elements of the platform, and highlight the value creation of the platform. If you have room, feel free to make observations about aspects of the value capture strategy, but do not make it central.

Create an approximately 500-600 word post to make your contribution by Sunday, February 24 at 8 p.m.

Please also respond to and comment on three other posts per module. Your comments are due Monday, February 25, at 10 a.m. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Selected posts will be discussed in class and also featured on the HBS Digital Initiative website.

Please prepare a 2-3 min summary of your blog post before Monday’s class.

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Collaboration not Competition: Shopify’s eCommerce Platform
PC
Posted on February 17, 2019 at 2:40 pm
Three key features of Shopify's eCommerce platform are mutually reinforcing and create strong network effects for the company. In addition to driving growth for both Shopify and its merchants, these features also enable Shopify to collaborate with other players in [...]
EdX: The Path to Learn for Career
Ge Li
Last modified on February 24, 2019 at 1:26 am
When Harvard and MIT team up with Google, would you still be interested in quitting your full-time job to pursue an advanced degree?