Disintermediation doesn’t have to mean doom. Here’s what you should know about it before reading Rick Kupchella’s recent Forbes piece.
We all understand disruption in the digital age, a Netflix or an Amazon that fundamentally altered how consumers interact with an industry.
But with those innovations came destruction.
In the 1950s and ’60s, the average lifespan of America’s biggest companies – the Fortune 500 or S&P 500 – was often 50-plus years. Now, that life expectancy is down to about 15-20 years. (The exact figures depend on which data source you look at.)
In addition, the number of top companies that survived the past half-decade is small. AEI for example says, of the Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1955, only 50 remained in 2017.
As a business leader, it’s terrifying to see how quickly you can go from success to struggle in this era of “creative destruction.” Disintermediation, however, isn’t certain doom. It is in fact an opportunity. I wrestled with this shift during my later years in local news.
Which is why in this piece for Forbes, I explain how I navigated the change – and offer questions you should ask to find your opportunity in this disintermediated world.
Further reading on disintermediation
- Writer Justin Fox for Bloomberg on the lifespan of Fortune 500 companies, and whether the “great wave of upheaval” has ended.
- It’s not just since the 1960s. Constellation Research looked at Fortune 500 companies since 2000 – and half are gone.
- From gradual change to a sudden shift, a breakdown of disruption in health care from Accenture
- A great New York Times story on Silicon Valley’s attempts to disrupt America’s school system.
- A New York real estate analyst predicts the future of urban work spaces. It sounds radical … but hear him out.