In our last report we took the city as the centre of things and asked ourselves: when will the Internet change our cities like it changed our lives? The report shows how the five basic SMACT technologies are moving the creation of 21st century urban environments into top gear. We provide a status update on Smart Cities today and how developments like Senseable Cities and Cities as a Platform provide both new dynamics and opportunities for blending the digital and the physical infrastructure of our world together. SMACT will transform the city into a platform to blend bricks and clicks seamlessly together. The report provides a analysis of how this is already becoming a reality for retailers and presents what companies and organizations of all trades could learn from the accelerating convergence of bricks and clicks.


This report was all about the fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution made possible by the far-reaching integration of Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). The IT/OT convergence and the end-to-end ecosystems that are under development – from design and production to client interaction and advanced Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) – enable a future in which appliances, devices, things and machines for professionals and private people will communicate with central systems, with one another, and with users for the purpose of providing the best possible facilities to makers, service providers, legislators and customers.


In the second report we focused on the personalized internet of things. We are witnessing a computer boom in terms of kinds, shapes and sizes – around, on or inside the body. Therefore we explored the coming transition toward a more empathic and contextual form of computerization. The emergence of wearable computing and other forms of empathic ‘things’ seems a logical further step: even more intimate, more human-oriented, and ubiquitous. We explored this development and present seven manifestations that can define the impact on business, such as the ‘quantified employee’ and the ‘body as the new password’.


In our first report Things: Internet of Business Opportunities we reported on a tipping point concerning a dazzling impact on the whole economy. Connected things offer new opportunities to combat waste in the broadest sense of the term. This waste occurs among all parties: clients, suppliers, governmental bodies, service providers and the manufacturing industry. Applying digital things, sensors, actuators, apps and SMACT demands a certain mindset as well as concrete actions to optimize process and event chains, and to translate surprising new opportunities into new products and services. Our report offers an overview of recent developments and tips to accelerate your Things approach.


The disruptive potential of new technologies is growing at a staggering speed and challengers in the market are more vigorous than ever. The combination of these new possibilities and the rise of new competitors are the main drivers that are accelerating innovation. This is the reason why leaders put technology on top of their list of factors that will determine their organization’s future. Many people have remarked that existing organizations cannot match today’s disruptive innovations and that they should leave this field to lean startups. But Design to Disrupt is an imperative: an appeal to every organization that refuses to passively accept becoming obliterated, but truly believes that pioneering innovations are indeed possible. The design of one’s own disruption is the focus of attention in this process. Looking at the toolset – from collaborative platforms, the industrial internet, advanced analytics, cloud to new mobilities – there is an abundance of opportunities for everyone to change the design of products, services, business models, and the organization itself. The new VINT report deals with everything that business leaders need to know about disruption and explores how to design to disrupt. Readers can expect the following insights:

  • An overview of all relevant disruption theory and insights accompanied with speaking examples of accelerated innovation
  • A set of design principles that is imperative to effectuate disruptive innovation
  • Considerations for business leaders to bring innovation to the centre of their organizations


Involving everyone in a new service or product is a perfectly feasible venture nowadays. Simply because internet is invariably within arm’s reach and there is always some app available to make contact. More often than not this is the starting point for a new provision of services between producer, consumer and employee. Such digital competitors form the heart of what we call the platform economy. They derive their success from the network effect. We define platforms as: Building blocks serving as a foundation on which a variety of companies or business ecosystems can develop supplementary services, technologies and services. What it is like to be confronted with such a new digital competitor, was articulated expressively in a by now famous memo of 2011 by Stephen Elop, the then CEO of Nokia. The company had to deal with Apple and Google, which had never made a phone before and Elop experienced their success as fat in the fire of Nokia’s core activity. “Nokia, our platform is burning,” he wrote to his employees. Their actions were wrong and trends were missed. With hindsight things should have been done differently, for Nokia’s brilliant innovations were far too slow in making their way to the market. This can happen to any organization: you are doing a fantastic job within your own comfort zone but suddenly you come off second-best. A platform player enters the market and confronts your product – in the case of Nokia the traditional mobile phone – with a complete ecosystem of touch devices and mobile apps: “The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems.” Ecosystems are the reality everyone has to face sooner or later: taxis, music, software, meals, money. You name it, it can always be made into a platform. In our networked society, markets are meeting places that are unlocked digitally. APIs and direct contact between the actors in the network determine the success. This questions any organization that operates as an isolated bastion. Anyone will be faced with platformization. The new VINT report explores the new digital competition and presents:

  • A analysis of the success factors of disruption
  • 10 design principles of the new digital competition like Unbundle your organization processes, APIs first. Access over ownership and Building trust with social systems
  • The need for every business to develop a API-strategy
  • An appeal to the CIO and the IT department to use a leading digital approach and map out an offensive technological route.


How can you, as an organization, design your own disruptive market possibilities? “Doing the blockchain” might get you there. Read our new report Blockchain: cryptoplatform for a frictionless economy. “Disruption is the New Normal.” This is the key message from the series of our reports on the “Design to Disrupt” project. We have outlined the exponential growth of digital opportunities. Start-ups are keen to fill the gap, challenging the establishment. Their allegedly inferior propositions confuse prominent players, who should in fact be the very first to be open to disruptive innovation. This innovator’s dilemma brings us back to the major question of this Design to Disrupt project: how to design disruption yourself? This third report, that’s been launched today, is devoted to an entirely new design principle. It outlines the potential impact of blockchain, a new way of organizing trust in the presence of unreliable parties. It owes its current fame to the currency, the bitcoin, in particular, but the cryptographic capacities of the network can be deployed in a variety of other ways. It is a special kind of platform, which in its turn is a basis for numerous other platforms − in other words, a platform for platforms. We outline its relevance for organizations in three steps: the crypto-economy 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.