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Using Adverse Conditions to a Company’s Advantage

Using Adverse Conditions to a Company’s Advantage

Using Adverse Conditions to a Company’s Advantage

  • Chakravorti discusses four methods that corporate innovators use to turn adverse conditions to their advantage. These methods include: (1) Matching Unneeded Resources to Unmet Needs; (2) Rounding Up the Unusual Suspects; (3) Finding Small Solutions to Big Problems; and (4) Thinking Platform, Not Just Product.
  • Examine an organization of your choice and briefly discuss how the organization used, or might use, one of these methods to capitalize on the opportunity found in adversity.

Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone.​

1st person to respond to

Csherri

Using Adverse Conditions to a Company’s Advantage

  • Chakravorti discusses four methods that corporate innovators use to turn adverse conditions to their advantage. These methods include: (1) Matching Unneeded Resources to Unmet Needs; (2) Rounding Up the Unusual Suspects; (3) Finding Small Solutions to Big Problems; and (4) Thinking Platform, Not Just Product.
  • Examine an organization of your choice and briefly discuss how the organization used, or might use, one of these methods to capitalize on the opportunity found in adversity.

An example of the method of Thinking Platform, Not Just Product is Hewlett Packard’s Deskjet printer platform.  In 1997, the company was able to design a printer that could be sold in both North America and Europe.  The core engine was manufactured in Japan and shipped to the two.  Before the change, the printer’s power supply was not a fit for both continents and had to be reconfigured before it could be sold.  The improved design possessed a power supply that works in all countries.  This change allowed the company to be able to ship products to anywhere in the world from anywhere in the world to keep supply and demand leveled. The cost of manufacturing, stocking, and delivering the finished product was reduced by 5% per year (1).

Reference

  1. hbr.org/1997/01/mass-customization-at-hewlett-packard-the-power-of-postponement

2nd person to respond to

Chad

Hello Dr. G. and Class,

Examine an organization of your choice and briefly discuss how the organization used, or might use, one of these methods to capitalize on the opportunity found in adversity.

Bhaskar Chakravorti’s four methods to turn adverse conditions into an advantage teach us that crisis breeds opportunity and for those that innovate, it can be a major competitive advantage (1).  An organization that did this very well, is a company called Centr Fit (2).  It is a fitness and lifestyle company founded by Chris Hemsworth, best known for playing Thor in the Marvel Movie franchise.  Hemsworth started the company in 2019, and just sold it three weeks ago to Jeff Bezos founded company HighPost (3).  The recent acquisition valued Centr Fit at $200 Million including debt in the deal (3).  That is an amazing accomplishment, seeing as how the company was only founded three years ago, right before the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic created significant adversity, constraining the needs of consumers and impacting the lives of many people across the world (Chakravorti, 1).  The lock-downs forced many people to stay home, businesses had to close and many could not operate due to the requirement of in-person interaction.  Centr Fit was a new company, all app and platform-based, that matched an unmet resource, a home-based fitness application, to an unmet need, people not being able to visit gyms and still wanting to work out (1).

Centr “rounded up the usual suspects” by addressing the gap in the market (1).  I can speak from direct experience, that as soon as the pandemic hit, by April 2020 Centr had marketed a specific six-week program for no charge (4).  Centr connected with people who were looking for a new way to work out and offered a six-week trial program to try and entice new subscribers.

Chakravorti argues that small innovations can be huge (1), and I would absolutely agree in this context of Centr Fit.  Centr was not the first company to create a home-based workout and fitness app, others like Beachbody had been on the market for years.  However, what Centr did was create a new type of experience marketed to a new audience.  Centr took the pandemic and geared its program and marketing to those looking for several types of home-based workouts, nutrition plans, meal plans, and lifestyle geared articles and content.

Centr was already thinking platform, not product in 2019 (1).  The pandemic accelerated that and created an opportunity geared for a home-based application company such as Centr.  Essentially, as Wired puts it, Centr is a well-thought-out and holistic approach to health and fitness (5).  The platform is constantly changing and engaging with users, asking for feedback, and adding gamification by creating rewards for working out and interacting with the platform.  For example, I won a lifetime subscription to the app for simply engaging with one of its contests (4).

Centr Fit is absolutely a company that capitalized on adversity and is thriving now because of it.  The recent acquisition of the company proves that, as it expects an increase of 700,000+ subscribers over the next four years (Front Office Sports, 3).

Regards,

Chad

Source List:

  1. Bhaskar Chakravorti.  2010.  Harvard Business Review.  Finding Competitive Advantage in Adversity.
  2. Centr Fit.  https://centr.com/centr
  3. Front Office Sports.  2022.  https://frontofficesports.com/mark-bezos-firm-acquires-fitness-platform-centr/
  4. Chad Carriere.  Personal Expérience.
  5. Wired.  2019.  https://www.wired.co.uk/article/centr-app-review-fitness-chris-hemsworth

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