Digital Winners and Losers

March 05, 2019

Read The Full Prompt

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.

Submitted (37)

Smartwatch: The Product We Thought That Was Doomed to Fail
Ge Li
Posted on March 3, 2019 at 5:24 pm
Seldom mainstream thought Apple Watch was going to succeed, yet here we are today looking at their success.
The Battle to Book and Host Travelers Continues to be Changed by Digital Innovation
Last modified on July 19, 2019 at 2:07 pm
Digital disruption has had a huge impact on the hospitality industry. Companies like Airbnb and Priceline have done a great job of creating digital platforms and applying pressure to traditional hotels, but hotels are fighting back with consolidation and differentiation.
Beyond ebooks: The rise of digital ecosystem of reading
Gaurav Chawla
Posted on March 3, 2019 at 11:04 am
While you immerse yourself in your favourite pastime, the digital world is silently changing the way you connect with books.
Zillow’s Big Bet: digitizing the home buying and selling process
Last modified on March 2, 2019 at 9:46 am
Bolstered by access to years of rich housing data, Zillow launches Instant Offer, a new home buying and selling program that threatens to disrupt the opaque and lengthy agent-based process.
The Best Camera is the One That’s With You
Posted on March 2, 2019 at 4:31 pm
As smartphone cameras become more advanced, they have replaced the need for consumer-grade, and soon, professional-grade, digital cameras.
Domino’s Pizza: Delivering Innovation and Profit
Last modified on March 5, 2019 at 7:26 pm
Pizza. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of digital innovation or technology. Yet, when considering the winners and losers of the economy’s digital transformation, there can be no denying that pizza has a place at the [...]
Sleep on It: How Casper *Flipped* the Mattress Industry
Gina Ciancone
Posted on March 4, 2019 at 9:17 pm
Digitally-born companies like Casper have transformed the previously mundane experience of mattress shopping into buying an aspirational item - and lifestyle.
A better copycat: the disappearing stories battle between Instagram and Snapchat
Hanif Wicaksono
Posted on March 5, 2019 at 12:25 am
The ephemeral stories battle between Instagram and Snapchat teaches us a lesson where being original sometimes is not enough to make you win the game.
Ebay Held at Bay
Posted on March 2, 2019 at 5:50 pm
The eCommerce space is a key digital transformation in the last decade, and has quickly become crowded with new niche or vertically integrated players emerging. In the growth of this sector, I identify Ebay as a loser primarily due to [...]
Disrupting Donald Draper: Programmatic Ad-buying’s Effect on the Advertising Industry
Posted on March 5, 2019 at 6:45 pm
Who wins and loses in the global shift to programmatic advertising?
Bye-Bye Britannica, Hey Siri
Last modified on March 5, 2019 at 3:46 pm
Contrary to popular belief Wikipedia didn't cause the downfall of The Encyclopedia Britannica, the PC did, but they are helping the Tech Giants win from the digital transformation of the encyclopedia.
Tonal: Your Entire Gym On The Wall
Li C
Last modified on March 5, 2019 at 9:21 am
Ditch the old dumbbells at gym and embrace intelligent workout system at home.
ClassPass friend or foe
Daniela Izquierdo
Posted on March 5, 2019 at 6:20 pm
ClassPass has enabled small boutique studios to take advantage of Millennials preferences, killing Big-Box Gyms in the process.
Sephora vs. Birchbox: Winning through Digital Retaliation
Juan Torres
Last modified on March 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm
A brick-and-mortar specialty store is at risk of disintermediation from a subscription company. The response? When you can't beat them, join them.
Hi, my name is C-3PO. How can I assist you today?
Marissa Dearing
Last modified on March 4, 2019 at 8:28 pm
AI is driving the next labor revolution, starting with call centers
The Rise of the Smartphone Ecosystem and Kodak’s Fall
Noga Ratner
Posted on February 28, 2019 at 7:53 pm
A brief history of photography, The basic concepts of photography can be traced back to China, 5th century B.C. where it was discovered that an upside-down image is formed on the opposite wall when viewed through a “pinhole”. In the 4th [...]
Bring Back the Milkman: The Growth of Home Food Delivery
Hung Vo
Posted on March 5, 2019 at 6:33 pm
Box subscriptions businesses have captured a new wave of online consumers interested in getting weekly or monthly products sent straight to their home. BlueApron is one subscription service that is helping to refute claims that "cooking is dead," by offering [...]
‘Just Do it’ with innovation!
Purple Unicorn
Posted on March 4, 2019 at 12:39 am
Nike paces ahead with speed-to-market and direct-to-customer focus along with close attention to personalization and customization when it comes to product innovation. Will it win the race?
Digital Disruption in the Insurance Industry; Winning by unlocking the Value Chain
Posted on March 5, 2019 at 1:18 pm
For many years digital disruption was an imminent threat for this industry and its legacy players, but never ended up being a reality. Thing has changed dramatically in the last few years and today we are started to recognize who [...]
Back to the Future? National Security Innovation and the Coming Decline of Traditional Defense Contractors
Walter H. Haydock
Last modified on March 27, 2019 at 6:07 pm
Although several massive companies have historically dominated national security contracting work in the United States, a new generation of firms is arising to challenge them.
Who said Journalism is dead?
Last modified on March 5, 2019 at 7:38 pm
The death of journalism It is no secret that print media is suffering. From 2000 to 2015, US newspaper print advertising revenue fell from $60 billion to $20 billion. [1] This, however, is less a reflection of high-quality written content [...]
PillPack disrupts retail pharmacy with medication to your doorstep
Last modified on March 4, 2019 at 11:33 pm
PillPack, a full-service pharmacy, was recently bought by Amazon for $1 billion and is now poised to disrupt the retail pharmacy market.
Energy Management Systems: a digital transformation that’s leaving electric utility companies by the wayside
Last modified on March 5, 2019 at 7:22 pm
Energy management systems are enabling a transformation to a new, digital energy era. And those with the best energy management systems and financing models are poised to win as we switch to a decentralized model of energy production.
Who has what it takes to be The Voice?
Gene E. Lectington
Posted on March 5, 2019 at 7:36 pm
Virtual Assistants are software programs that translate spoken language and conversational text into completed requests. Overtime, Virtual Assistants have become smarter as more data has improved the algorithms that process requests and translate them into responses. The technological advancements of [...]