You Need Both Disruption and Adoption

As mentioned in a previous post, there hasn’t been a bigger or better disrupter in this century than the now former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

iPod. iPhone. iPad.


In my weekly column on, I asked what should marketers make of disruption and how should they react?

As always, the key is to time your participation so that your brand is out of the gates once the disruptive activity settles and it’s clear which technology or tool is winning the race. Jumping the gun doesn’t guarantee a head start in the right direction. There are graveyards full of innovative technologies and devices that failed from the get-go and never gained the traction we expected. Remember Digital Audio Tape and Betamax videotapes?

In mobile marketing and advertising, just because something can be done, doesn’t mean you should blindly spend against it before its time. (An example is Augmented Reality, a technology packed with ‘wow’ effect but lacking in mainstream take up.)

Jobs’ iAd is in that same category.

Apple’s closed mobile advertising network (closed because you can reach only those people on the iOS platform) has been a large disappointment for many advertisers and others (like me) who looked at Apple’s move into mobile advertising as a milestone and a much needed push to move the industry along.

But don’t close the chapter on iAd just yet. Despite his resignation, there are indications that Jobs may not be done tinkering with iAd.

You can read more of my thinking as well as my take on BlackBerry’s newest devices here