Beat Disrupters to Pain Points: Onsite Coverage
ORLANDO – John Lass, CEO of Lass Advisory Services LLC, urged executives attending NACUSO’s Annual Conference to examine their credit unions and CUSOs for areas where a disruptive technology can have an impact before disruptors do.
NACUSO is hosting its annual conference at the Disney Yacht Club Resort through Thursday.
The Seattle-based Lass described the history of disruptive technology and the way new ideas and practices undercut the old and told the audience that the disruptors tended to share an awareness of what he called “consumer pain points.”
Each of those points, where a consumer is frustrated or prevented or delayed from doing something they want to do, provides a place where a disruptor can come in with an idea about how it can be done better, faster or easier, Lass said.
Lass also asked the audience where they believed their credit union or CUSO fell on what he called the technology adoption curve. The place they probably want to be is the sweet spot where they are in the wave of improving technology, but not so far ahead they risk adopting what turns out to be failed technology like Sony Betamax or the payment fob, he said.
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He shared a particularly poignant picture of employees at Kodak a couple of years before the company declared bankruptcy. The employees were gathered behind a chain link fence to watch the destruction of two historic Kodak factories that had outlived their usefulness.
“It was an historic moment,” Lass said, “and everybody there had a digital camera.”
Lass called the photo particularly poignant because Kodak had had a digital camera that it could have rolled out well before any other company, but it had not done so because it feared disrupting the core part of its film business.
“You have to be willing to cannibalize your core business,” Lass said, even as he acknowledged, “this is very, very hard to do.”
You have to have exceptional intestinal fortitude, Lass explained, because making this decision can mean flying in face of apparent short-term success and if you choose badly, you will lose your job.