Creative Destruction and the Construction Industry

By David Nour 

Creative destruction sweeps away the old to be replaced by the new. A tsunami of creative new consumer devices is transforming our landscape with connectivity, responsiveness, and intelligence. The construction industry must take note, because the homes, offices and institutions we build will be directly affected by increased consumer expectations and abilities, elevated by this wave. This next generation of gadgets is teaching us how important it is to develop innovations that are part of an ecosystem. For the construction industry, the concern becomes how do you participate, contribute, become part of a technology innovator’s ecosystem, in a way that captures synergies for all members of that ecosystem? What’s amazing is how little these gadgets need YOU, the consumer.

Once installed, the ecosystem begins learning by seamlessly syncing data streams to help individuals achieve their desired outcomes at home, at work, and in transit. These innovations don’t need you to be anything but the buyer who takes them home. Whole industries will experience creative destruction as the “Internet of Things” ecosystem trend matures. Industries that were founded on demographic information will need to shift to behavioral science. At one time you could generalize that people roughly alike demographically would have roughly the same buying patterns.

The housing construction industry could count on a middle class family wanting to own their own 2,500-square-foot home. Now we’ve splintered into segments of one. Today my psychographics, my digital behaviors, everything I encounter that influences my thinking and call to action, can be very different from the middle class family next door. Maybe I want a 5,000-square-foot McMansion; maybe I want to rent. This shift can be extrapolated from the housing trade to every corner of the construction industry. You can no longer expect to market based on broad generalizations. As your prospective customer, I need you to provide that which helps me choose, decide, move to the next step. I don’t need you to sell to me, but to understand what I find credible, believable, digestible, in order to help me buy.

The construction industry needs to be part of the next generation of “smart” ecosystems, designed to take advantage of connectivity, responsiveness, and intelligence. What will the creative destruction ahead mean for your company? In what ecosystem will you find your niche?


1. Smart consumer product ecosystems affect the construction industry because they elevate consumer expectations and abilities.

2. Creative destruction will led to entire ecosystems of devices designed around insights into customer needs.

3.  As the “Internet of Things" trend matures, marketers in the construction industry must move from selling to helping customers buy.  

David Nour is an enterprise growth strategist and the thought leader on Relationship Economics® —the quantifiable value of business relationships. He is the author of several books including the best selling "Relationship Economics— Revised" (Wiley), "ConnectAbility" (McGraw-Hill), "The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital" (Praeger) and "Return on Impact—Leadership Strategies for the age of Connected Relationships" (ASAE). Learn more at David may be reached at [email protected].

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