HBS Digital Initiative builds community and expertise around digital transformation and tech at Harvard Business School and beyond. We manage this forum to gather and share perspectives from the HBS student community.
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.
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 a specific instance of digital transformation. Pick one situation with a winner on one side and a loser on the other. Why are they a winner and why is this transformation putting the losing organization in a difficult place? Stress the novelty of the situation. Discuss the key elements of how the winner creates and/or captures value, and similarly for the key elements of how the other firm is losing value. (Please devote most of the space to the winner, and focus less on the losers, devoting attention to winner/losers according to a ratio approximately 3/1.)