Monday, December 4, 2017

Industry Game Changers



Over time, there have been a large number of industry game changers. They completely disrupt an industry and often put even dominant share leaders out of business. As examples:

  • The Ford Model T largely put horse and buggies out of business
  • Computers replaced typewriters
  • Vacation timeshares created a whole new industry, as did timeshares of private jets
  • The Internet made the world a whole lot smaller
  • Digital photography replaced film-based photography
  • Smart phones have far surpassed any functionality Star Trek imagined for its communicator device and have largely replaced land lines
  • Robots are replacing more and more manufacturing jobs
  • Airbnb is disrupting the hotel industry
  • Uber and Lyft are giving taxicab companies a run for their money
  • Zipcar car sharing has changed things as has Zagster bike sharing
  • Amazon.com and other online retailers are making shopping malls obsolete
  • Self-driving cars will play havoc with a number of industries
  • AI and medical diagnostic learning systems are already replacing Internists in remote areas
  • Eventually, people's vitals will be routinely measured and fed back to health care monitoring systems
  • Stem cell research is leading to organ regeneration techniques
  • Photonics may one day replace silicon chips
  • E-learning may one day replace the way colleges and universities deliver their services
  • With energy storage improvements, it may become routine for individual residences to be self-contained regarding their energy usage
  • With energy storage improvements, electric vehicles may just upend gasoline powered vehicles
  • A break-through in hydrogen fuel cells will have a similar impact on the petroleum industry

So, what are some of the disruptors one should consider?
  • Any Internet-enabled business
  • Any business that benefits from network effects
  • Any business that is scalable
  • Anything that can create disintermediation
  • Any business model that allows for the sharing of specific resources
  • Any new source of energy
  • Any receptor that can detect a new bandwidth of energy along the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Any technology that allows for increased storage of energy
  • Any human activity that can be replaced by robots
  • Any expertise that can be replicated by AI and learning systems
  • Any new mobile phone application that can replace something else

And what are some of the critical skills required to create marketplace disruptions?
  • An entrepreneurial mindset
  • Out-of-the-box thinking
  • Risk-taking
  • Software expertise
  • Internet proficiency
  • Systems thinking
  • Design thinking
  • Some minimum proficiency in science and technology
  • Broad exposure to a wide variety of disciplines

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