One of the biggest impacts of the economy in the information age is that successful start-ups can now more easily destroy business as we know it. Newspapers, record stores, encyclopedias, whatever comes next. It’s disruption, and it’s always been there. It’s just accelerated. And now it’s becoming symbiotic. The small take down the big. The big acquire the small. We can’t avoid the disruption or hope it passes us by. Established companies need to participate in that disruption rather than fight tooth and nail. Understand what has changed. Stab digital forks into an analog structure. We need to have the courage to lead the disruption rather than get knocked over by it. Design is the secret weapon. Design is vital to a brand strategy. It cannot be an afterthought. In the quest for leadership, design is what makes your business plan/strategy tangible for the rest of the world. You can’t ask a consumer what they want. You can’t write a concept and ask them to imagine how their lives will change. You cannot ask them to imagine that some of what you do will be the same, but some parts will be different, and isn’t this all amazing. You need to show them. And when it “feels” right, you know you are ready to start your own revolution.