In 2004 Starzik was on the cutting-edge. It was a small-time French player that was facing off against Virgin Mega and other web giants.
"My participation in a class on innovation was confined to the specific angle of how to innovate and conquer a disruptive market," says Jérome. The director of Starzik participated in a class led by Thomas Gillier, a professor and researcher at Grenoble Ecole de Management. "I came to the class once to present the company, its development and future challenges. I will meet with the students a second time to see their work. The idea is to see what ideas they will dream up for the music of tomorrow. It's motivating for me because on one hand I can share my company's experience with younger generations, and at the same time, I can discover their ideas and aspirations in terms of the future of music."
The challenge of disruptive innovation
In 2004, Starzik was on the cutting-edge in France as a small time player in the face of Virgin Mega and then other web giants.
"Napster in the U.S. was the first organization to digitalize music, but in an illegal manner. In France, Starzik added videos, games, computer software, books, comics, anti-virus programs and accounting software. Around the same time, digital photography was taking off, marking the end of the Kodak empire. After explaining this context to the students, I spoke with them about the benchmarking strategy implemented for a variety of markets in hobbies and cultural activities. This allowed us to analyze potential competition and discover opportunities, in particular in the U.S. The idea was for GEM students to understand how we can take an idea that was initially a niche concept and grow it into a profitable organization."
A Great Learning Experience
The company’s development provided Jérôme with a wide range of experiences to share, from developing a niche strategy to developing methods to differentiate itself from iTunes, expand its offer, anticipate technology and overcome the challenges of compatibility. Students also learned about diversification through no-name brands. The sharing of experiences was an opportunity for students to learn from Starzik’s past 12 years in the market. They learned about the importance of adaptation and anticipation to manage technological evolutions and survive in the ultra-competitive digital world largely controlled by web giants. This sharing of experience also highlighted one of the major strengths of SMEs: the agility necessary to be on the cutting-edge of a market.