Disruptive Technologies are Changing the Way We Live

There is no doubt that Disruptive Technologies are changing the way we live.

A disruptive innovation, according to Wikipedia, is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and alliances.

In other words, new technology eventually displaces old technology providing a competitive advantage to firms who embrace the innovation and are forward thinking enough to recognize and adopt it.

Everything from cloud-based software to personal drones, each new innovation is making its predecessor obsolete and creating new alliances and markets.

Disruptive innovation isn’t new; Henry Ford’s Model T automobile is a classic example. This horseless carriage changed the face of transportation and the concept of mass production overnight.

Over the years we have seen the demise of Telex machine with their operators (ask an older person if you don’t know), mail being replaced by email and libraries becoming obsolete with Google.

Entrepreneurs are essentially in a search to find a solution to a need. We are constantly looking for better ways to improve the way we live and work.

With disruptive innovations, as the saying goes, we are building better mousetraps. I’ve seen and been involved with this first hand and it is exciting. The taxi industry was a prime candidate for a disruptive technology to replace their clumsy, antiquated procedures, service model and attitudes. Yes, they now have apps to order a cab but everything about the industry was messed up including the licensing and long hours drivers needed to work to make a living. Uber created quite the stir and is changing the way we think of the cab industry. Imagine when driver-less cars eventually disrupt Uber.

I did some consulting with Parcel Pal (CSE-PKG), an on-demand courier company making waves in Vancouver. It is uber-esque and the big couriers in Vancouver are taking notice because with Parcel Pal there is no need for warehousing. The package is picked up by the closest courier and immediately delivered – both cheaper and faster.

Do you remember CD’s? I am so glad my music is now cloud-based on iTunes. I can now use my center consul in my car for other stuff. The music industry has been turned on its head by disruptive innovations in sharing, purchasing and storage solutions.

I once consulted for a Video store (remember them?), and was shocked like the rest of us when Netflix blew away Blockbuster. I’m glad Netflix is growing so fast; they provide good content with no commercials and are even doing original programming. I have never been so delighted to be able to dump my cable company.

Two years ago I was not pleased to see Adobe phasing out computer installed software. Piracy was their nemesis for decades and the move to cloud-only monthly subscriptions to use their popular Photoshop, etc. was a dream come true for them. I still like to have control over my software so I quickly bought the last copies of my favorite software before everything switched to the cloud. Now – how do I install them to my CD-less laptop?

I’m looking forward to getting a personal drone. A friend has owned a company for many years that provided aerial photography and specialty advertising at conventions using a radio-controlled blimp. I don’t think he was too pleased to see small drones with GoPro cameras outperforming his 16’ Nikon equipped blimps. He did see the innovation coming and invested in professional quality drones for his business. Early adopters win again.

I had to lookup what the Internet of Things (IoT) was last year. Equipping devices with minuscule data collecting, monitoring and decision making computers changes everything from making perfect toast to self-driving Tesla’s. Manufacturers who fail to keep up with the IoT are being replaced by innovators who do.

The Canadian and US military are excited about Spring Loaded Technology in Halifax. Liquid spring loaded knee braces allow the user to easily carry up to a hundred pounds of equipment. This is a boon to soldiers who need help dealing with heavy knapsacks with specialized equipment. It’s not new technology but is innovative.

A&W says within a year all of its chicken products will be free-range chicken. Imagine the shock to the producers when they realize they have to innovate their entire farming systems or lose the market. I hope A&W analyzed their supply chain before making that remark.

3D printers seemed to be something from the Twilight Zone when I first heard of them. I’ve seen them in action making small plastic parts for a machine but the idea that they can create human body parts fueled my scientific side. This is one of those technologies that is so vast it is only limited by one’s imagination.

If you think disruptive innovations has only affected taxis, food and movies check this one out – The Swasthya Slate. Developed by an Indian named Kohal, this small device can do 33 medical tests on patients than send the data to a doctor at a different location. This is life changing!

Generally disruptive innovation comes from third parties not involved in the initial industry. It is usually hi tech based companies who can see the writing on the wall and seek innovation at every opportunity but there are innovations everywhere.

There would be fewer upset business owners going out of business if they only had the foresight to see innovation and adapt to how they managed their business. Keeping up with technological innovation is a must with every entrepreneur and business owner.

Millennials seem to be leading the charge – full speed ahead!

Gary is CEO of Bizzo Management Group Inc., and Bizzo Integrated Marketing Corp. in Vancouver. London-based Richtopia placed Bizzo on the Top 100 Global Influencers in the World for 2018. He is an Adjunct Professor of Integrated Marketing & Communications, as well as, Consumer Behavior at the New York Institute of Technology, MBA School of Management (Vancouver Campus). Gary can be reached at ceo@garybizzo.com

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