You have all seen this striking illustration of the platform shifts we lived this last decade: uber owns zero taxi, AirBnB zero hotel, etc. Don’t we just forget that this is business as usual in the innovation playfield?
One of the key reason we don’t see it as business as usual, is that we take for granted the previous platforms. Having a network of railroads, highways, planes and container ships crisscrossing the world is part of the background. Having pervasive electricity, internet, GPS or hot water is as reliable as sunrise and sunset. Finding information, knowing what our friend, family, and business relations do pretty much in real-time –with video feed if necessary– holds no magic for us.
Platform innovation is business as usual. As such, sometimes really understanding the future of innovation is not so much seeing the future but just remembering where we come from, and how we got there.