Digital Winners & Losers

February 01, 2018

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 and the record industry.

For this assignment, we would like you to identify companies/organizations that you think are winning or losing. Just work on either winners or losers. Please focus on just one organization. Tell us why they are a winner or loser. Discuss elements of how they create and/or capture value that is leading you to call them a winner or loser.

Create an approximately 500-750 word post to make your contribution on by 6pm on Feb 1. Please create appropriate tags for your post including if it is a “winner” or “loser.” Please also respond to and comment on three other posts per module. 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 (83)

Condé Nast: No Longer in Vogue
Last modified on February 1, 2018 at 3:04 pm
Condé Nast, once a magazine powerhouse, is in decline. Through a series of company reorganizations and brand closures, all signs point to a company struggling to adapt to the digital economy.
Starbucks’ Mobile App: A winner in bridging the retail / digital divide
Last modified on January 31, 2018 at 10:30 pm
Why was Starbucks, a coffee retailer, able to gain more adoption of mobile payments, with 30% of transactions through mobile compared to Apple Pay, which is only used by ~5% of customers?
Peloton: Bringing the Studio to You
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 3:47 pm
Peloton has created their own "fitness as a service" ecosystem that delivers the quality and experience of a boutique studio workout without leaving your home. – Digital technology for government bureaucracy
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm
Hopefully #winning. Out with government bureaucracy, in with digital.
The New Mad Men
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 1:03 pm
IBM's digital agency iX is changing the way corporations engage and market to consumers
EnerNOC: Taking Power Away from the Energy Utility Monopoly
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 3:15 pm
Growing environmental awareness, rising energy prices and lack of transparency in the power supply system have contributed to the adoption of EnerNoc’s energy intelligence software.
From Zero to Hero – Xiaomi’s Short Journey into Becoming One of the Biggest Tech Giants in the World
Last modified on February 1, 2018 at 12:39 am
How did Xiaomi, a 7-yr-old company, become one of the biggest technology firms in the world?
Transforming the Financial Brokerage Industry
Last modified on July 11, 2021 at 2:11 pm
The commission-free, mobile-only firm Robinhood is digitalizing and disrupting the discount brokerage industry.
Alexa: Your new roommate
Last modified on February 1, 2018 at 5:59 pm
Until three years ago, only a lucky few had had the pleasure of controlling their homes (... and spaceships ...) with their voice: Tony Stark and the crews aboard in Star Trek. Today, 16% of American households (or around 39 [...]
Hyundai Heavy Industries – a winner in navigating the course of shipbuilding through digitization
Last modified on January 31, 2018 at 11:15 pm
How the largest shipbuilding company is revolutionizing the world's oldest and most traditional manufacturing industry through integrated design and engineering.
Unity Engine: A Unicorn Powering the Video Game and VR/AR Economy.
Last modified on February 1, 2018 at 2:45 pm
Winner: Unity Engine is the unicorn fueling growth in the video game industry: “50% of mobile games are developed through the Unity Game Engine.” and “There were 5 Billion downloads of Unity powered Games in Q3 2016.”
GLOSSIER: A Direct-to-Consumer Beauty Disruptor
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 3:54 pm
How digital winner Glossier rose to cult status by using social media and digital content creation to establish a beauty community platform.
Ripple, the disruptor to the forty years old cross-border payment system
Peter Chen
Posted on February 2, 2018 at 8:06 am
Ripple uses blockchain technology to disrupt an old industry - cross-border payment
“Human Uber”
Last modified on February 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm
Feeling tired to go to some events but your physical presence is important? Let the "Human Uber" attend it for you!
No Signs of Surrender at This Retail Bank
Last modified on January 31, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Many have prophesied the death of retail banking - and while the traditional retail model may be dead, at least one traditional bank is changing to keep up with the times.
Zola: Vowing to Simplify the Wedding Process
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 5:53 pm
Zola is disrupting the wedding industry with its gift registry business, without taking on the risk of managing the gifts.
Butch Cassidy of the Modern Age: How the Digital World is Enabling Modern Day Bank Robbers
Posted on January 31, 2018 at 11:01 pm
As more data goes digital, the volume and scale of cybercrime continues to increase. Companies and consumers alike should be concerned about modern day "bank robbers."
Estonia: Showcasing the Digital Future of Citizenship
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm
Small baltic nation leads the way on digital citizenship through e-identity and e-residency programs.
The New York Times’ Impressive Digital Transition
Laura Barnes
Posted on February 2, 2018 at 9:57 am
NYT turns on a dime
EcoCash – How a telco turned a cash crisis into a cash cow
Last modified on February 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm
In the face of a cash crisis, Econet, Zimbabwe's largest telco, introduced a mobile digital payment solution that saw the company become a market leader in the provision of financial services.
The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again?) of BlackBerry
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 2:31 pm
The roller coaster journey of the world's original smartphone leader.
SONY: from disruptor to disrupted
A.J. Steinlage
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 5:41 pm
How does a company highlighted at the Harvard Business School as a preeminent example of disruptive innovation become a loser?
A Blockbuster Failure and the Changing Media Landscape
Last modified on January 31, 2018 at 3:52 pm
The fall of Blockbuster remains a classic example of digital disruption. Formerly a dominant player in the rental market, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010. The trends the led to the big B's demise are also challenging the media ecosystem [...]
What Retail Apocalypse? Farfetch and the Store of the Future
Last modified on February 1, 2018 at 7:07 pm
As the death knell sounds for traditional fashion retailers, the UK-based digital native is making considerable strides both on- and off-line.