2018 was an exciting year for the streaming and content studios – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon – and an equally exciting year for viewers. The options exploded, and completely disrupted our channels and expectations for outstanding content. For the first time, all three streaming studios were represented heavily at the awards ceremonies (Emmys, Golden Globes, Oscars).

Personally, I have enjoyed content from different streaming services for various reasons – GLOW from Netflix for retro humor, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Amazon for edgy humor with a side of social commentary, and The Handmaid’s Tale from Hulu for social commentary with a horrific side of deep, dark despair.

What on earth could streaming media have to do with technology innovation in healthcare? Simply put, today, the streaming services are creating a complete disruption of a traditional industry along with some adjacent markets. In healthcare, disruptive innovation threatens to do the same to an established industry (which also happens to comprise 18% of US GDP). There are observations from this media challenge that we can use to study our own issues.

Have you watched original content created by a streaming studio? Did you know when you were that you were participating in a business model revolution?

After the success of these studios in the awards season, no less than Steven Spielberg has begun an effort to block Netflix from the Oscars. Why? There are many reasons. But if you really dig in and ask why Netflix is creating such a stir? It’s because it is turning the old model for doing business on its head. And in any large, established environment, the establishment is not going to like the upstart – especially if that upstart could cost several members of the establishment money, reputation or opportunities.

What will happen with Netflix and the Oscars? I’m going to pop some popcorn and wait and see.

At the same time, if you’re leading innovation that could be disruptive, definitely don’t wait to see if your disruption stirs things up. I promise you it will. Instead of worrying, though, here are some questions you can ask yourself to figure out how you’re going to go over, under or through the establishment:

  • Understand the economics of the situation in which you are presenting a solution – who gains from disruption? Who loses?
  • What are the other factors? Reputation? Outcomes? Risk? How are they affected by your solution?
  • Understand the influence of the winners and losers in a world where your product succeeds…is the gainer gaining as much or more than the person who will lose?
  • How can you make that gain so clear and compelling that the person who wins will break down barriers to make you succeed?

And this is just a start! Creating constructive disruption is possible. Look at the journey those streaming content providers have taken. It’s slower in healthcare, but it’s doable.

Seem daunting? You can definitely do this. Let’s talk!