When companies first started using technology, it was limited to additional ways to advertise, shop, or research products. This simple idea of shopping from home, without a paper catalog, increases the ways companies can do business. Those who failed to jump on the e-commerce trade have suffered as consumers buy products directly from the manufacturer or companies shipping products immediately at a cheaper rate.
E-commerce wasn’t the end of changes in the way we conduct business. There is room to disrupt industries such as dining out, on-site security, and getting paid that typically require multiple people or your actual presence to partake in the service provided. Technology will continue to infiltrate our workplaces and homes as technology disruptors become even more present in our lives.
A chore done daily by roommates, children, and grandparents doesn’t seem like an industry that can be disrupted; how fancy can a broom be? Automated cleaning products didn’t stop with the self-cleaning oven. The iRobot company, founded by former MIT students, created Roomba, the floor dwelling automatic sweeping/vacuuming droid. While more expensive than a standard broom, this device sweeps the floor without having the pain of dealing with the line of dust your dustpan leaves behind.
Using AI and machine learning, the Roomba is able to learn its surroundings to clean your floor. Sensor technology prevents these autonomous cleaners from running into walls, getting stuck under couches, and falling downstairs. Entrepreneurs aren’t letting iRobot be the only company in the new autonomous vacuum industry. New products are attempting to disrupt the disruptor. As companies race for the best or least expensive product, competition is fierce to hire computer science professionals to enhance their robots’ visual mapping and machine learning capabilities.
Disrupting a leading industry doesn’t always mean proprietary technologies. The Internet allows consumers and customers to communicate and administer services at a faster and cheaper rate. Eyeglasses aren’t just used to correct visual flaws, but are a personal fashion statement and can become sentimental. Broken lenses and cracked frames are common plagues of eyeglass wearers who find it is often cheaper to get new glasses than find someone who can repair the frame or replace discontinued lenses.
Lenscope is entering the eyeglass business to capitalize on the needs of consumers who simply want to fix their current pair of glasses. This business probably wouldn’t be as viable with the volume e-commerce allows. The Brazil-based company is looking to expand outside of the country soon and will undoubtedly need professionals with web development skills.
Offering services to entrepreneurs, job seekers, and career changers is becoming a viable business outside of major markets. A service once limited geographically is now available all over the world. Not only does this provide a service to those in need of coaching, but it also provides those qualified extra revenue streams to apply their qualifications. Companies that offer virtual services between two outside parties will take additional steps to ensure their platforms are safe on all ends. Cybersecurity professionals will keep their apps safe and protect the sensitive information of their clients.
The banking industry is staying up to date with technology, but that isn’t stopping companies from entering the market. You probably have at least two financial apps on your phone. If you only have your bank’s app, don’t forget it is possible to send and receive money through Facebook. There are apps for splitting dinner tabs with friends, sending them money, and paying the restaurant through your phone. Credit cards and cash are becoming obsolete.
Fintech companies are teeming with new features to entice consumers to send money through their app. A unique feature of some apps is getting paid immediately or even paycheck advances. They take the opera singing Vikings of “it’s my money, and I need it now” to a whole new level. Creating an application trustworthy enough is not an easy task. Nor is getting it approved by the FDIC and other oversight committees. These companies need all types of tech professionals, including front and back end developers. You can learn these technical skills in months; you can even become a full stack developer with no degree.
Disruption Is The Future Of Tech
As leading companies and entrepreneurs understand and apply tech in new ways, they will use it in existing industries. There are still thousands of profitable ways to take market share from industry-leading companies.
The author, Artur Meyster, is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.