Disruption — It Seems Like the Term Began This Year


Disruption — It Seems Like the Term Began This Year

I consider myself fairly well read and ‘on top’ of what is happening in business, but I began to run into the term “disruption” only recently. Perhaps only in the last year.

I think its because the term has begun to focus on our industry. Disruptors have begun to make headway and legacy companies are feeling the result. Virtually any idea having to do with a smart phone is beginning to disrupt our way of doing business. mCommerce is coming on strong with cloud based software disrupting our “normal” way of doing business.

Australia’s Nick Austin, founder of Divvy Parking, a company that puts people who have parking space together with people who need it (can you say AirBNB), wrote a piece that is featured by Astrid on Parknews.biz today called “The Five Stages of Grief for a Disrupted business” which reads  like the “Five Stages of Grief” we all find so familiar: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. 

Disruption has been around since Uugg invented the wheel.  They not only bring ‘better’ wheels, but have ideas that will do away with the wheel. Does anyone remember the buggy whip, or for that matter, the phonograph, DVD player, or in a few years, the Newspaper?

Its not making things ‘better, faster, or easier’ but a true disruptor changes the paradigm completely –  in our business, the disruptor gets cars into a lot without a dispenser or gate, he markets without a sign on the outside, he collects money without coin or bill every changing hands, he looks for many ways to meet the needs of his customer, far beyond simply providing a place to store their vehicle.

The parking disruptor will focus on mCommerce, not on reinventing parking but replacing it with many different commercial activities just as shopping centers replaced the main street, or Amazon is replacing the shopping center.

Laugh if you will, but my suggestion is that you hire someone under thirty, make them your VP of innovation, and then do what they say.  Its a risk but consider what you will lose if you don’t.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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