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Prepare for New Business Models driven by New Technology – Key Insights from Kelly Manthey and Solstice

As Chief Strategy officer at Solstice, Kelly Manthey is responsible for the firm’s Digital Strategy consulting practice, along with their new service lines of Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, and Robotics practice.  Talk about an exciting job!  I’ve known Kelly and her firm, Solstice, for a number of years, and they are on the leading edge of helping major brands successfully shifting to the digital enterprise.

We were fortunate to learn from Kelly at our fourth annual Technology Innovation & Leadership summit, when she spoke on a topic called, “The Digital Business Innovation: The Four Imperatives”

One of her four key imperatives is “New Tech – New Business Models.”

Here’s the point:   New technology is driving new business models.  You can’t be afraid of it – you have to embrace it.

This is a very inspiring part of the presentation, which Kelly starts off with a great quote by Haim Mendelson, in an article from MIT Technology Review.  “By changing the focus of innovation from hardware to software, IT has dramatically accelerated the process of new business-model creation.”

Kelly then does a great job of illustrating how this has already changed a number of industries.  Before I give her examples, one of the terms she uses often is unbundling.  Unbundling industries is a major trend.  Start-ups fueled by venture capital and using new, scalable technology are aggressively trying to disrupt most industries.  They do this by coming up with new models on part of your business.

For great information on this – see CB Insights.

Now the examples:

The Music Industry

Unbundling has already occurred.  Global recorded music revenue has nearly halved from $26.6 billion in 1999 to $14.9 billion in 2014.   What’s replaced the CD?  The album/cd industry was disrupted by iTunes, which was disrupted by Spotify.  What’s next?

Logistics and Distribution.

Kelly showed a chart that illustrated 100’s of companies in a variety of aspects of logistics and distribution.  As Kelly indicated, you may not need everything that Fed Ex does; you may just need ONE thing.  So each of these companies is doing that one thing with a digital experience.  You can even use Uber to move some things!


Kelly shared how she took the family on a driving vacation and never went to a branded site.  She used sites like and Airbnb.  Hotel chains didn’t consider this; they wrongly assumed customers would only go to their own site.


Unbundling is happening big time in the CPG space.  Think one product.  Like Dollar Shave Club that sold for approximately a Billion Dollars from Unilever.  Why?  Because they had created a unique, digital customer experience, a target demographic and great customer experience.  Not because the razors were any better.

Unbundle Yourself

Kelly gave other examples.  But the key advice is to unbundle yourself.  I highly suggest you watch Kelly’s presentation or go to CB Insights and look at these unbundling infographics.  Here’s her advice.  Pick one feature, service, or attribute from your company or website and say, “If this was all we did, how would we build it out as a digital experience.”

Try it.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll come up with the next great disruptive idea!

Thanks to Kelly for great insights on how New Technology is creating new business models!

Updated: December 6, 2016 — 4:51 pm

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