Disruptive businesses & consumers

Successful businesses must adapt to the changing world around them. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the digital space, which has been evolving over the decades – and at an increasing pace over the last couple of years.

Here we glean insights from Jonathan Herman, eCommerce at Facebook and speaker at our summer Digital Exchange attended by our portfolio companies and network of digital experts.

Change is constant. If you look at the list of Fortune 500 companies in 1955 and 2015, only 61 remain. 88% have fallen foul and are no longer in that group, with many having lost market share to younger, previously unknown companies. Disruption is seen across the market.

Take for instance mattress shopping. For decades, you’d go to the edge of town and see loads of mattresses in a huge room. Suddenly, and only in the last few years, mattress-in-a-box businesses have sprung to life. They’ve thought about how to reinvigorate an existing business.

The oldest business I’ve recently worked with was  founded in 2012. It is a gym business and uses influencers to grow their brand. The CEO is 24 years old and is very active on Instagram stories, constantly posting on a daily basis.

The businesses and people we engage with test and learn. They use split testing and know that the true measure of success is after 50 converts on our platform. Crucially, they know that what works today may not tomorrow, and so have made testing a standard discipline.

We have noticed three major shifts on how people use our platform

  1. Movement from desktop to mobile. 97% of mothers sleep with a smartphone.
  2. Movement from text-based to visual language. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual so we are turning from text to video as a result. By 2020, Cisco have publicly stated that they estimate 75% of mobile data traffic will be video.
  3. Movement from feed-based to storytelling. People are swiping instead of scrolling. The adoption of stories (Instagram) is growing faster than the Facebook feed ever did, as it is more immersive. Stories are likely to overtake feed in the very near future on our platforms.