There are certain events that happen in marketing that change the face
of the way business is conducted forever.
For example, in 2004 who could have guessed that a software program
invented by a geeky undergraduate in a Harvard University dorm room
designed to make it easier to meet girls would have such a profound
effect on the way people communicate with each other in the 21st
Century? Yet Facebook has done exactly that.
Or flash back to 2007, when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced a new
gadget that he promised would alter the way people not only used the
telephone, but accessed the Internet, shopped for the products and
services they wanted, and were entertained. He was right: Today the
iPhone and its imitators are used all day every day by billions of
Facebook, the iPhone and other game-changing developments are what are
known as disruptors. They change the rules, alter behavior, and shake
the very foundations of the marketplace. Once these genies are let out
of their respective bottles, it’s practically impossible to imagine a
world without them.
Knowing how to spot disruptors before they come onto the scene is a
skill that needs to be developed. Some of these advancements occur
organically and unexpectedly, as was the case of Facebook. I doubt that
even Mark Zuckerberg knew what he had when he developed the social media
platform’s prototype between classes at Harvard.
Others are developed in secret, under tight security. That’s how the
iPhone was able to take the world â€“ and especially techies – by surprise
(and capture such an enormous market share of the mobile industry).
Nobody saw it coming.
4 Potential Disruptors
While nobody knows for sure which new technology or software is going to
turn the world upside down, it’s possible to take an educated guess.
Here are four potential disruptors to watch in the coming year and
Wearable Technology – People laughed when Google Glass was first
introduced in 2012 as a prototype. But in the ensuing years, wearable
technology has become cutting edge. Apple has responded with its iWatch,
and is rumored to be developing even further tech devices that can be
worn while used. And businesses and industries are now adjusting to
their workers wearing their web access devices while on the job in the
same way they were forced to deal with employees bringing their cell
phones to work in the late 1990s.
Driverless Vehicles – The technology for driverless cars and other
vehicles has existed for many years. Using GPS, radar, laser-guided
cameras and other devices, cars, trucks, taxis and even forklifts can
now move more safely and efficiently that those driven by humans. But
the automobile industry and others are justifiably concerned about
consumer pushback to such technologies. That’s why they are slowly
introducing the concept to the public through such things as cars that
can parallel park themselves, cars with 360-degree cameras, auto-braking
and collision deterrent devices.
Digital Money – Right now, there is a battle going on for control of
your virtual wallet. Some companies like PayPal and Google Wallet are
winning while others, like BitCoin, are failing. But eventually, safe,
hassle-free digital commerce will replace theï€ inconvenience of carrying
cash and payments from your smart phone or other device will be
Streaming Media Content – Consumers have spoken. They prefer the
convenience of watching the movies and programming they prefer via
streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon to being tied to
network or cable TV schedules. The industry observers who have been
predicting the fall of the networks for years are now adding cable and
satellite providers to the list of potential victims.