Technological Disruption in Existing Industries
New technologies allow access to industries we never thought possible. With different apps you can invest in famous artworks, get help ghost hunting, or find the perfect time to use the restroom during a movie without missing vital spots. There is an app for almost anything you can think up. Many make life simpler, easier, or more enjoyable, but those companies lagging in their tech skills are losing money to innovative companies taking away their business.
The loss of business isn’t going unnoticed. Sometimes a new technology might help businesses, but many times incumbent industries are losing huge swaths of revenue.
Movies used to be an activity that got people out of the house and into a comfy lounge chair with an Icee and oversized butter-drenched popcorn. We’ve been going to the movie theater for almost a hundred years; technology, and the abrupt arrival of Covid-19, has pushed the big screen experience to the comforts of our own home.
Even pre-Covid, you could watch any number of movies in your pajamas for a subscription fee less than your average movie ticket. The phrase “I’ll wait until it’s on DVD” has been swapped for Netflix. If you don’t have an account, you probably have a relative’s password. Even the behemoth Disney has an app exclusively for the Disney family of movies, TV shows, and cartoons. You can bring your movies wherever you go.
Not a director, actor, or writer but want to contribute to the movie industry? Streaming services are almost always looking for Back End Developers to increase the reliability of their sites.
Many millennials have never hailed a cab. Uber and Lyft decimated the taxi industry. Not only did they take over a whole industry, but they also allowed anyone with a phone, driver license, and car the opportunity to make money by becoming a driver. Taking out the taxi industry wasn’t enough; next, they are aiming to remove the driver.
Both companies have been working on autonomous systems that will allow ride-sharing services to be self-driving. It might sound scary, but that is the direction the technology is trending. These self-driving systems rely on programs that perpetually learn from the world around them, without human input. This process of learning is called machine learning. Machine learning can be an accessible field if you attend one of the top data science bootcamps.
Real estate is one of the most antiquated businesses, but there have recently been some developments that have changed the way people go about buying and selling homes. You no longer need to visit a home to decide the kitchen isn’t functional, or closets are too small. Virtual tours have changed home buying, but a few companies have cashed in on being real estate brokers.
Local letting agents might be a thing of the past. Companies like RedFin have started selling homes through their platform. RedFin, and companies like it, is causing a stir in real estate by their 1 percent (where available) commission compared to 5-6 percent of a traditional realtor. This savings to the customer, buyers and sellers, is taking away billions of dollars in sales from local businesses. Companies entering the real estate sector with industry-changing technology are employing coders and designers who have learned their trade through online courses offered by Lambda School and other tech bootcamps.
Travel agencies are going by the wayside as travelers use websites to handle all their travel needs. With a few clicks, you can take care of all of your vacation plans. The hardest part might be finding your passport, not booking flights or hotels. These sites have replaced the travel agent and sucked in huge profits.
Not all technology takes away from incumbent industries. There are many business-to-business (B2B) technologies helping companies to higher revenues. Hotels want their neon signs to say no vacancy each night but often don’t. Some websites exclusively list tonight only rooms to help hotels reach capacity. These companies either charge a fee or receive a portion of the room rate. Either way, these fees compound to large sums when completed hundreds of times a night across the world.
Companies will continue finding ways to earn small market shares in billion-dollar industries or create industries by offering services to businesses and customers. As long as there is money already being spent, entrepreneurs looking to get a piece of the pie are going to need employees who can work magic with programming languages.