If you consider businesses with true transformative effects that really disrupt their industry — think of Uber, Tesla, or AirBNB, for example — you’ll find they do the first, majorly important aspect of any business: they solve problems for the customer. But then they go a major step beyond that, and they solve problems for the industry. Uber addresses the issue of too many cars, AirBNB of empty real estate going unused, and Tesla of fossil fuels. Designing a business to solve industry problems, as well consumers’, leads to bigger, bolder, more innovative strategies. Consider men’s clothing retailer Alton Lane. Step into one of its stores and it’s immediately different: for one, the clothing retailer’s staff will first walk you to the bar to offer you a scotch or beer. You will then see a 360-degree body scanner waiting for you in the corner to capture your exact dimensions and ensure a perfect fit. The six-year-old company, now with seven stores, has radically rethought the clothes-shopping experience. In fact, their digital tagline is “Welcome to the tailored apparel revolution.” But the most disruptive elements of their business model happen behind the scenes and are driven by addressing industry problems as…
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