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Disrupt Or Die

Disruption is a buzzword that has gradually made its way from the dirty combat of the technology business to the MBA classroom. The phenomenon of established companies with rich histories of success suddenly losing their edge — and sometimes their whole businesses — to nimble startups is no longer exceptional. Companies come and go and sometimes the most successful, who may have once been disrupters themselves, find themselves in the crosshairs of a kid with a few dollars and a dream.

So take heed Tim Cook … there’s a kid out there who is cultivating a fanboy following that just may out-Apple Apple. Meet OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei. His OnePlus phone, dubbed “The Flagship Killer,” caught the hearts and wallets of mobile enthusiasts worldwide last year, with a bleeding-edge design, feature- rich base, and a reasonable pricetag. The thing took off by word of mouth, with virtually no advertising to back it, and rang up a completely unexpected $300 million in revenue.

Now OnePlus is back with the OnePlus 2, and Pei and his youthful crew are popping up around the world to spread the word and continue the sensation. Senior editor Alan Wolf dropped by the company’s carnival-like event in New York and managed to get Pei to share some of his vision with TWICE. Wolf’s reflections on the company, and the event.

And the winners are…

This issue marks the third anniversary of TWICE’s VIP (Very Important Product) Awards program, with the winners being revealed beginning. The VIPs are awarded as a result of the voting of TWICE readers, the retailers and distributors who know an effective product when they see one. This year’s list of winners is our largest ever and, for the first time, some categories contain more than one winner, determined when the voting differential was statistically inconsequential.

Congratulations to the winners, and further congratulations to all the finalists, who will be included in a digital supplement that will be sent to our entire subscriber list this week. And a special thanks to all the busy retail professionals who took the time out of their busy day to cast the votes. We feel the VIPs carry some extra weight because of your expertise.

What’s the Buzz?

You may have noticed that TWICE has added a new section, Buzzworthy, which occupies the prime real estate that is the last page of each print edition.

Our vision for Buzzworthy is simple: a place to update you on general technology news that is being shaped by current events, politics, general business conditions and advances in industries that may not traditionally fall under the consumer electronics umbrella but nonetheless have an influence on our industry. I welcome your feedback.

Moving on up

Finally, congratulations to Lisa Johnston, who has been named to the new position of TWICE’s digital editor. After 12 years of doing whatever we asked of her with aplomb, Lisa will now be charged with growing TWICE’s website and varied digital properties. I can’t think of anyone better suited for the challenge.