In looking for disruptive opportunities, it is best to look for what we call “non-consumption.” Non-consumption is manifest by the inability of firms or individuals to obtain a solution. This can be due to the absence of a good solution or to an existing solution’s being inconvenient to acquire and use—including being too expensive.
Firms often do market research as a way to explore the possibilities for new products and services. But we have found that new-growth opportunities avoid already crowded markets by looking for where people are left out of a market. Successful FinTech firms, for example, have found their entry into the market among the unbanked. In India, Godrej Appliances recognized that only 18% of Indian households had refrigerators. Rather than competing in that small space, they set out to created ChotuKool to reach households that couldn’t afford a traditional refrigerator.
The core idea of non-consumption is that you can avoid competition—and thus grow your business—by finding opportunities among people or organizations that don’t have access to a solution, or to find a new-growth opportunity in a Job to be Done that lacks a solution altogether.