Create game changing ideas by seeing opportunities before anyone else

The world is always changing around us and as creatives we need to be able to see these changes before they happen because those changes give us the opportunity to create disruptive ideas. But changes doesn’t always happen to an industry because on a start-up or app. This episode will teach you lessons in non-traditional disruption from tattooing, toys and my work on Apple Watch, as well as how you can learn to overcome cognitive bias to spot these opportunities before everyone else.

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Show Notes:

Today we are going to talk about disruption because it is a word that gets used ALOT but I am amazed at how few people understand it. I talk a lot about the need for creatives to learn business this is a key part of that process because disruption breeds opportunity for creativity.

But not all disruption comes from an app or a start-up.  Some people don’t see their industries being disrupted even though they work in them every day.


The first type we are going to talk about is disruption through a shift in societal norms. This takes place as the way people see an industry changes because of the media, changes in societal values, etc.
– Tattooing is a great example of this.
– For decades tattoos were for sailors and social rebels but them the subculture started to go mainstream through TV shows like Miami Ink. Now 1 in 5 American’s have at least one tattoo.


Next let’s talk about disruption from inside of a company through the loss of its values this takes place when a company disrupts itself or even an industry it started through the loss of its values and connection with its customers.
– If you ever walked into a creative office and saw a bunch of toys on the shelf they were probably from Kidrobot. Founded by Paul Budnitz in 2002 who had a mini disc company and used the infrastructure to create Kidrobot. In the beginning he specialized in artist-created toys and imports from Japan, Hong Kong, and Europe.
– Paul would always talk about how many toys weren’t actually good toys but they were licensed and so you would buy them to connect with that license. He wanted to make art toys that focused on creativity so the toys could stand on their own merits and not licenses.
– This niche movement started to gain popularity Kidrobot responded to the competition by trying to go mass market.
– They totally lost their way which create several huge problems. Their core customer base fled because their niche had gone mainstream so it was no longer cool. This caused their stores to close as their brand and their products had lost their value. But it also gave rise to even more competition – Funko Pop figures.
– Customers could no longer see them as art toys so most the high end of the market collapsed.


Finally lets talk about disrupting through new product launches. As creatives we also have to deal with an ever evolving digital landscape that is out of our control. One new product can cause a shift in consumer behavior and we usually have little time to see it coming.
– Started with Google Glass. I never thought that Google Glass was going to become a great success but I could see wearables coming as new form factor.


Cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that affects the decisions and judgments that people make. There can be a lot of reasons why this happens.
– When we are making judgments and decisions about the world around us, we like to think that we are objective, logical, and capable of taking in and evaluating all the information that is available to us.
– The reality is, however, that our judgments and decisions are often riddled with errors and influenced by a wide variety of biases.
– Cognitive biases are often a result of our attempt to simplify information processing. They are rules of thumb that help us make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed.
– There are actually 12 different types of cognitive biases and I will put a link to an article about all of them in the show notes.

Mentioned in this article:

The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational

The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn’t mean our brains don’t have major limitations. The lowly calculator can do math thousands of times better than we can, and our memories are often less than useless — plus, we’re subject to cognitive biases, those annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions. Here are a dozen of the most common and pernicious cognitive biases that you need to know about.


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