How To Sense If An Industry Is Set For Disruption

We all love the David Goliath story. How a little boy is able to bring down a formidable foe is something that inspires everybody. We grow up anticipating a repeat of similar events, say in a sporting contest between world champion side vs a clear underdog or something as simple as an average man working beyond regular hours trying to make a better life for himself.

In fact, we experience the same thrill by seeing an innovative startup challenging the norms by taking on long-established business players. Something that was done by Uber and Airbnb, the very pioneers of sharing economy. Their success marked the beginning of an era of technological disruption. That’s lead to a sort of frenzy in the entrepreneur-circles with people anxious to disrupt more industries.

Big hopes aside, causing disruptions isn’t child’s play. There are enterprises and powerful business entities that have worked long and hard to establish their position in a certain market. To topple them can be very challenging. So, the first step should be to identify whether or not an industry can be disrupted? Sounds perplexing? Well, it isn’t really. An industry that can be disrupted will show some very tangible signs. If you can construe these signs correctly, there’s every possibility that you may go on and disrupt that industry.

Power Is Consolidated


One very clear sign that an industry can be disrupted is the presence of huge imbalance or dominance by one company. They’re referred to as Oligopolies. Here, a handful of companies go on to consolidate a large amount of market share. On the surface, the barriers to disrupt these industries may appear immense. Oligopolies are focused on preserving their past and reaping greater incentives. They don’t always embrace innovative ideas. The fact that they’re big, yet slow and rigid to adapt is something where startups can hurt them. The ability to work at pace, develop quickly and the use of technology are startup’s greatest assets. You may be a small player when you do enter the fray against these large enterprises, but with the said attributes, you can easily cover the ground and unlock new opportunities to gain the edge.

Consumers Still Sticking To Age-Old technologies

Big companies tend to have very complicated systems. It’s no surprise they always find it difficult to implement new technology at pace. These type of industries are perfect candidates for disruption. Now, one might argue that old technologies are still used by a vast number of people. That’s true, but the usage of these technologies shouldn’t mean they are the best and only solution to a given problem. Instead, they’re the best solution to do certain things for a few entranced business interest. Once a new solution does come into the picture, these businesses can come crashing down very quickly. Always remember your solution doesn’t have to be the most spectacular one. The simpler the better.

Research To Back Everything Up


Finally, one can’t emphasize enough the value of research in any major business undertaking. Disruptions don’t happen overnight. There’s always months or years of innovative thinking devoted to a startup that goes on to disrupt an industry. So research all you can, even invest some money into research and the idea you’re working on. The more you research the more confident you’ll become in your idea and the business plan. Spend time understanding what your competitors are like and what new can you bring to the target industry. The research will also reveal to you the depth of the competition. Will disruption be tough or simply a breeze? You’ll have all the answers if you put enough time into research.

Final Thoughts

Only in the past couple of decades, we’ve witnessed disruptions in industries that had stood the test of time for centuries. Technology, it appears is challenging every known norm to humanity. Small startups full of hope and innovative ideas don’t fear the big enterprises anymore. If you’ve got the right mindset and the ability to see through the inefficiencies in the established order, your business can very well be the next big startup. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog and if you have any questions related to disruptions or simply want to share your opinions, let us know that in the comment section below.

October 29, 2018



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