Learning from failure and embracing it – digital disruption lessons

 In digital disruption, social business

I was invited to an very interesting event last night at the Ivy Club in London.

Billed as the “Digital Bar Room Brawl” it was designed as an event to talk about the failure of high street companies to embrace digital, and it provoked some lively debate.

What we did not end up with though (nor were we ever going to) is a definitive answer as to why digital disruption is killing the high street.

I’ve blogged about this recently, and the issue stays the same.

A clue that digital is not entirely embedded everywhere was when I arrived at the event.

I was greeted by a man with a clipboard!!

20130618-101239.jpg

Seriously?? Ever heard of Eventbrite and their iPad entry manager app ….but I digress.

I had my 2 minutes on the soapbox (yes there was a real soap box to stand on), and I once again mentioned the lovely Molly Flatt (@mollyflatt) who was born in 1983 – the year I started online with bulletin boards and dial-up modems.

After the formal part of the evening, Molly and I had a brief chat and both remarked about how we never really learn from the mistakes of failed companies.

I am sure that behind the failure of Jessops and HMV, while we all shake our heads and say “why did they not see digital disruption coming”, there is another story or boardroom and c-level battles that contributed to their demise.

Take any “digital” conference these days (and the event last night was actually a promotion for the Digital Marketing Show to be held in London 26-28th November at Excel), and we will all talk about the things we should be doing, or the campaigns that have been super successful.

We don’t however celebrate, or learn from our failures.

What Molly and I would like to see would be a “digital failures” conference, perhaps called #failbetter.

Why not ask along the ex-marketing manager (or CEO) of Jessops and HMV and ask them exactly what went wrong?

I am sure we could fill the Albert hall with a 1 day conference where we talk about what WON’T work, and ways to avoid becoming another high street victim.

Perhaps those involved in high street failures would not want to attend, perhaps we would have to disguise their voice and have them behind a screen – but we should not keep seeing high street companies being killed by digital disruption, we should instead embrace and learn from these failures and create better, more digitally sustainable ones.

What do you think? Would you attend such a conference?

Please leave a comment below or tweet me @AndrewGrill

While you are here ...

Did you know that Andrew also speaks regularly on topics such as this at conferences and events around the world.

You may wish to view Andrew's extensive speaking portfolio at practicticalfutur.ist.

If you enjoyed this blog post you may like other related posts listed below under You may also like ...

To receive future posts you can subscribe via email or RSS, download the android app, or follow me on twitter @andrewgrill.

About 

Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.