Skip to main content

Three Industries Ripe For Disruption

Yesterday I posted about the impact of code based payments in the China and how likely it for the same technology change to affect financial institutions world wide.

Getting into this market requires an enormous customer base, deep pockets and an awful lot of data. In my view Apple and Amazon are well placed to significantly disrupt the world of retail banking and payments.

Whether they want to or not is immaterial, competition from the East may force them to do so.

There are two other industries currently making a target of themselves and one company is showing signs of exploiting this to position itself as the future leader of both.

Transport and power are both industries which arose in the Victorian era and have fought modernisation and change ever since.

It's in both these areas that Elon Musk and Tesla are promising to play a game changing role and disrupt the way both industries operate.

Tesla Motors has gone from zero to customer darling in a few short years. It is a premium brand to compete with the best of Germany and it has achieved this distinction by playing to a different set of rules than incumbent auto makers.

Tesla is also pushing change in the power generation market by investing heavily in the creation of new solar power generation and storage solutions which remove control from central monopolies and puts it in the hands of the consumer.

With Tesla's vehicles being exclusively electrically powered it is in its interests to be in the power game and its power business needs the extra volume the significant demand of EVs in large numbers.

It has put itself in a position where it wins twice and neither power nor motor industries are able to quickly or easily change their business models to compete. Even now Tesla's EV and self driving propositions outgun those of every other car maker. Combined.

In fact Tesla's most likely competition is going to come from Google or Apple. Tesla's EVs will become the iPhones of the future auto market, even if the volume goes elsewhere.

A couple of years ago I remember the argument being made against EV sales growth, on the basis that capacity to generate power at scale was unachievable. It reminded me of movie company execs who laughed at the decimation of the music industry by MP3 file sharing, safe in the knowledge that movies were too big and connections too slow to impact their own profits.

Look how well that worked out for them.

Motor manufacturers and power companies are like Nokia, Microsoft and Blackberry in the face of the iPhone. Too set in the ways of the old to decisively react to the new upstart. Their fates are likely to be the same.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…