Disruption - an investors favorite word

“Disruption,” a word that your competition will be fearful of, but one that your potential investors will love. With the recent successes of disruptive companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and SpaceX, the word has become extremely trendy within startups, as entrepreneurs are beginning to recognize the value placed behind the simple adjective.

Where it took off

Disruptive companies, products, or services are nothing new. Inventions such as the first drivable car, or the modern refrigerator can be seen as disruptive. But the word disruptive still never caught on among entrepreneurs until the early 90s when the World Wide Web was first launched. Slowly but surely, the internet caused disruption all over the planet, from helping fuel massive social or political uprisings to providing the backbone for large E-commerce websites. The internet of things has drastically changed how we live and function both as a society and as individuals. Without it, the disruption we are currently seeing within almost every major industry would not be happening.

Now It’s Everywhere

In major industries such as healthcare and technology, you expect quite a bit of disruption from newer companies looking to gain traction, simply because of the recent advancements of modern technology. But it doesn’t stop there. Retail, hospitality services, the media industry, and even professional sports, are all experiencing impactful surges of disruption. For example, in just the past five years, the way that fans are consuming live sporting events has drastically changed. Professional leagues and companies are starting to invest more resources in mobile streaming, as well as virtual reality, and the entire fan experience will see a dramatic shift both at home and in the stadium within the coming years. Some leagues such as the NFL are experiencing such a decline in viewership that major adaptations or changes will be needed sooner rather than later, or else the league will simply die out.

Not Everyone’s a Fan

As previously mentioned, disruption is a word that your competition won’t take lightly, and in many cases, a heavy amount of backlash will surround your company because of it. I don’t want to say something such as ‘there is no such thing as bad PR’, because that’s one the biggest myths surrounding public relations, but there is some truth behind the statement. For example, in early 2014 when cab drivers across Europe were protesting Uber the company saw a 850% increase of signups in just one week. If your product or service upsets a decent percentage of the population it is not something to be concerned with, as the negative attention will only increase your consumer awareness. When the cab protests began, many citizens within Europe were still unaware of Uber, but thanks to the negative attention they were able to fully understand the consumer benefits of the service, which helped pave the way for the wild success the company is currently experiencing. Simply put - if you believe that you have a competitive advantage over the competition than their negative reactions or feedback won’t plague your company, and in most cases will only help it rise to stardom.

Opportunity Ahead

As previously mentioned, disruption is a word that your competition won’t take lightly, and in many cases, a heavy amount of backlash will surround your company because of it. I don’t want to say something such as “there is no such thing as bad PR,” because that’s one the biggest myths surrounding public relations, but there is some truth behind the statement. For example, in early 2014 when cab drivers across Europe were protesting Uber, the company saw a 850% increase of signups in just one week. If your product or service upsets a decent percentage of the population it is not something to be concerned with, as the negative attention will only increase your consumer awareness. When the cab protests began, many citizens within Europe were still unaware of Uber, but thanks to the negative attention, they were able to fully understand the consumer benefits of the service. Thishelped pave the way for the wild success the company is currently experiencing. Simply put - if you believe that you have a competitive advantage over the competition, then their negative reactions or feedback won’t hurt your company, and, in most cases, will only help it rise to stardom.

Disruption will only increase, not slow down

10 years ago, everyone wanted the Motorola Razr Flip Phone, as it was heavily praised for its sleek design and modern functionality. But now we all want smart computers that act as a phone, and if it flips? Forget about it! As a society we are rapidly advancing the technology behind the everyday tools we are using, and don't expect it to slow down anytime soon. What was once science fiction is slowly becoming our own reality!