Is Using Kleenex the Best Way to Blow Your Nose?
That is a question I would like to pose to you. Have you ever given this any thought, or did you just assume that because others are using Kleenex and that you are using it, that is the only and best way of doing it.
Well, not the only, I have a 5-year old and she tends to think that using her sleeve is an effective way of blowing her nose. I know, gross right?
Although myself, I haven't personally questioned the idea of how to blow my nose and what the most effective approach is. I do question a lot of things on a day to day basis and I also see the innovation taking place that is questioning some of the longest standing "accepted" products & services.
But somebody might in the near future and come up with a much better "concept" for blowing your nose. The Kleenex convention could be overturned and we as a human race may adopt a new way to deal with our runny noses.
Plain and simple, if you "question" how things are done, you may find out they are NOT being done the best way. This has been proven over and over again, and at the highest pace we have ever seen with the proliferation of technology and the Internet.
I am going to be discussing some examples in this thread, along with one HUGE example of disruption that is going to have a long term and postiive impact on you and your business.
Let's look at a recent real life example of disruption to conventional thinking that I experience. Something strange.
A Cross Walk. Disrupted.
As crazy as it sounds, most crosswalks are exactly the same in particular at lights. When it is green going a certain direction, the walk signal is initiated in that direction only, and you can cross the road. People waiting in the other directions, continue to wait until the light turns green in their direction, at which time the walk signal turns white and they can cross the street.
There are many cities in the world though that are now moving against this convention, as it is not the most efficient way. This has been the way for MANY years, but in busy areas, it is has been found to be much more efficient to allow everyone to cross in any direction all at once, and stop traffic in the other directions.
Then when traffic is going (green in either direction) pedestrians cannot walk, they have to wait until the "everyone walks" signal.
Here is an example below of Santa Monica, California (one of my favourite cities in the world), but there are many other cities implementing this pedestrian strategy like New York.
This not only allows people to bypass and additional wait by being able to cross diagonally, but it also allows the traffic to safely turn right/left at stoplights without having to worry about pedestrians.
The Principles of Math. Disrupted.
Many people are not questioning the result of math, as there is a right or wrong answer in every outcome. They are questioning the way in which we are calculating those results. There are often times many ways to reach the same endpoint or conclusion.
Math would be one thing where you think everything is "written in stone" and there are no new findings, but that is simply not the case and just in recent years the way children are educated on simply multiplication tables and fractions has shifted drastically. There is innovation in what would seem to be even the most archaic of industries, including math.
Everything From Taxi's to Hair Dryers. Disrupted.
Let's look at some other examples of "challenging" what we know and possibly think are the best solutions. There have been many massive industries turned on their heads in just the last 10 years that appeared to have a complete monopoly and where no level of innovation could take them out.
Well they have been disrupted, and have been in a big way. Let's look at 6 examples of this.
TaxiCabs, Uber/Lyft. The taxi industry has been turned on its head and a once held monopoly has been overrun by a more cost-efficient, all around better experience for customers. Much like when people grab a "Kleenex" when they are going to blow their nose, people grab an "uber" when they are going to get a ride somewhere.
The Electric Car, Tesla. The electric car is not new, but it has never had any level of penetration in the automobile market to really make a dent. Tesla has changed things with their progressive mentality and now think "Tesla" when we think electric cars, and likely in the near future we are going to be experience driverless cars. For 100+ years there has been very little change, but now we are seeing technological advances we could have only imagined in a sci-fi movie even 20 years ago.
Cable Television, Netflix. Netflix is now considered an activity. Did you see the latest series on Netflix? You hear this sort of thing all the time and it has shaken up the cable television industry. People are now spending $9/mth to get Netflix instead of spending $100's on a cable bill. How quickly things can change and there is no looking back on this technology with things like Apple TV moving the cable industry to an "a la cart" sort of environment where you just purchase channels that you like.
Hair Dryer, Dyson Supersonic. A hair dryer, how boring. No innovation can be done there. Well none other than Dyson has taken this on. They first made vacuums cool, then they made bladeless fans cool, now it is hair dryers. There is room to innovate in any industry, and we are starting to see companies disrupting pretty much every imaginable industry, including hair dryers!
Building a Website, SiteRubix. Building a website used to be a frustrating and complex process, and within many hosting environments it still is. There are many companies pushing this industry in a direction that is changing the way we do business, with Shopify in the ecom space, with Amazon in the hosting space, and with platforms like SiteRubix offering connectivity between many business environments (keywords, content, wordpress, site analysis, security, plugin management, hosting, and the underlying technologies).
Music. Spotifty/Apple. Look at what Spotify and Apple Music did to the music industry. It has not only made the customer experience much better for buying music (and more cost-efficient), it has made music much more accessible. Artists have as a result had to change their business model from making money "selling CD's" to making money going on tour and doing concerts.
Every industry it feels is no longer holds a monopoly, even when it comes to banking and currency, you are seeing a push with all sorts of transactional processes and new digital currencies that are pushing the landscape forward and forcing archaic systems to innovate or get left behind.
Lastly, what I feel to be the biggest and ongoing disruptor is shopping in general. How we shop, where we shop, and how efficient we can buy anything is changing the landscape of the retail industry. It is also revealing an incredible amount of opportunity for ALL of us.
Retail Shopping, It's Disrupted.
Window shopping used to be a term for people that weren't serious buyers and had little to no intention of buying. They would literally "look in windows". That term has evolved with the proliferation of online spending and the comfort of making purchases online.
There is a new world of window shopping now. People literally shop for, trying things on, and get to the point of being ready to purchase in retail outlets, and then purchase online. Why? It is more cost-efficient to do so and there is much greater solution, more sizes, colours, and designs. Free shipping and returns are also common place now, creating a great deal of customer confidence in the online retail space.
As a result, the offline retail industry is getting CRUSHED.
Businesses are dying that haven't adopted the "online first" retail model. You are seeing some of the longest standing companies run into a lot of difficulties as a result of new "questioning convention". Sears was doing fine in the early 2,000's when online shopping was just started. But they didn't adapt, while Amazon, Walmart and other major corporations were investing in their online retail divisions, Sears wasn't'. They failed.
People buy everything online. Groceries. Jewelry. Clothing. Sinks & Bathtubs. Appliances. Even Cars.
Shopping offline, it appears, in most respects is not as good as shopping online. As technology improves, the customer experience online is only getting better.
This massive disruption has lead to opportunity, and an ever-increasing one for anyone operating within the online world. People are moving a great percentage of ALL of their shopping online, and it is only going to continue down this path.
Regardless of the niche that you are in, the disruption of the retail world and the fact that spending has moved online, is good news for affiliate marketers and if you work to establish a presence within the online world in the next 1-2 years, you are going to be setting yourself up for long term and sustainable business.
There you go, I have gone Kleenex to Retail Shopping.
I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the online shopping world and any other disruption that you are seeing to the "conventional" monopolies that companies once had. Please leave your two, or ten bits below!