Disrupt Your Business Before Someone Else Does


After facing a $40 late fee for returning an overdue Apollo 13 VHS tape and discovering the upcoming technology of DVDs, Reed Hastings was inspired to revolutionize the home viewing movie scene. His 1997 subscription-based DVD rental startup eliminated late fees and incentivized returns with another DVD sent to the customer’s door. Though the idea gained some traction with consumers, Reed was still struggling to turn a profit and found himself deciding, in 2000, to sell his business. Believing that dot-com businesses were just another fad, Blockbuster passed on this 50-million-dollar acquisition opportunity. This later proved to be a multibillion-dollar missed opportunity. Reed Hastings’ Netflix would go on to become a record-breaking successful streaming and media production service. Blockbuster, once the industry leader for media rental, would tragically find themselves unable to adapt to the market demands and close for good in 2014.1

The dot-com phenomenon was a radical technological movement of the 1990s and early 2000s that demanded change from existing businesses and served as the spark to start many others. The need to adapt has marked the history of global business and will always be required of top companies. Companies that do not innovate stagnate or fail altogether. Understanding innovation, its necessity and challenges, as well as the qualities of successful innovators, can help empower sound decision-making for organizations.

True Innovation

Many businesses are born from creative ideas driven by passionate individuals who work hard to bring them to life. As the vibrant success of Netflix and the tragic fall of Blockbuster illustrates, it is not enough to have a clever idea or even to have that idea meet initial success or failure. How the organization pivots when circumstances demand change determines long-term success.

The Harvard Business School stresses that one must not mix up creativity with innovation. Creativity is the wellspring that contributes to generating ideas, while innovation is the heart of creativity that finds solutions to problems. Harvard identifies two primary types of innovation: sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation.2

Sustaining Innovation (Safer):
Primarily focuses on existing clients, processes, and products.

Disruptive Innovation (Riskier):
Low-end disruption refers to companies getting into an existing market that is new to that company.
New-market disruption denotes companies creating services for a market whose needs are not yet met.

Successful companies need to embrace and balance both sustaining and disruptive innovation.

Vital Necessity of Corporate Innovation

“Innovate and disrupt your business or someone else will.” In Forbes’ aggregate report, “Why Corporate Innovation Is Essential Today,” the company opens with this quotation to boldly introduce a concept that many businesses cringe to hear but must understand.3 Adaptation is essential for success and survival.

According to the Harvard Business Review, digital disruption is the core cause of the bankruptcy, acquisition, or closure of over 52% of Fortune 500 companies since 20004. Like Blockbuster, many of these companies experienced wild success prior to the dot-com bubble. Despite attempts to use sustaining innovation to maintain their original ideas, the disruption of the digital era rendered these companies unsuccessful.

Forbes explains that initial ideas that lead to success can hamper a company’s long-term outcomes if that company only practices innovation that aligns with sustaining what they have already done5. It is not enough to embrace sustaining innovation alone; successful companies must also embrace the riskier side of innovation by practicing true disruption.

Struggles in Practicing Innovation

The innovation process can seem counterintuitive at times. Traditional business leaders often want clear projections for return on investment and find themselves struggling to embrace innovative processes, seeing the risk as contraindicated for success.

There is no innovation without risk. Gartner, which employs over 2,200 research and advisory experts, explains that “while 64% of non-executive leaders claim an increase in appetite for pursuit of growth based on innovation, only 16% of all [surveyed] executives say their corporation accepts high risk opportunities.” 6

While there are many sound principles in traditional business approaches, clinging to old-business mindsets of operation eventually harms the company.



Forbes explains that highly effective companies are led by individuals who understand that paying too much attention to traditional business management methods and metrics will damage and inhibit a business’ ability to seek innovation.7 They settle for the “immature innovation” forms that, as Harvard lays out, focus primarily on sustaining what is already working, ignoring the vital necessity to explore disruptive innovations.8

Qualities of Innovative Companies

The ability of an organization to handle and overcome struggles determines its success, not the mere existence of struggles. How this is accomplished is often determined by the core values the company is based upon. The Harvard Business Review identifies that the leaders of companies with highly effective innovation are passionate, exhibit humility, and seek to empower and uplift those that work with them.9

The companies they lead, in turn, tend to focus on "hiring for mission, maintaining a value and focus on the individual’s psychological well-being, and value teamwork."10

These qualities, in combination with embracing the risks of innovation, quality planning, and measurable processes, help these companies have data-driven accountability.

Vee Healthtek’s Approach to Innovation

At Vee Healthtek, innovation has long been driven by a core mission to deliver extraordinary outcomes for those served by its efforts. But it is not just about delivering quality outsourcing options for its clients. It is driven by a rich history from its parent company, Sona Group, and the heartfelt mission to educate, improve lives, and push the limits of business both in India and around the world.

Innovation, as an explicit and direct path, is vitally important and valued at Vee Healthtek. We strive to find strategies, implementations, and processes that work for our globally collaborative business model. Vee Healthtek values both sustaining and disruptive innovations. One of the most recent efforts to find a transformative disruption was the forming of the Office of Innovation. We have also chosen to commit a designated team to innovation. While we strive to hire for the mission in all positions, the Office of Innovation’s unique role is to support goals and efforts within the company and for our clients.

Staying on the cutting edge is valued at Vee Healthtek. The global initiative allows us to embrace and utilize talents and solutions that can only come from collaborative global outsourcing. Continuing to grow is only possible because of looking to the future. Embracing innovation as a fundamental practice will allow us and those who partner with us to experience success in the inevitable waves of change the future holds.


1. Intro Story Netflix and Blockbuster

2. Harvard Business Review: Innovation in Business: What It Is and Why It is So Important

Managing Innovation

Critical Elements of Building an Innovation Team

3. Forbes: Why Corporate Innovation is Essential Today

10 Traits of Great Innovators

4. Gartner: Prioritizing Innovation

Counterintuitive Path to Great Innovation

Designing Compelling Careers around R&D

Priorities/Challenges for R&D team leaders