“Disruption” is bandied about way too often. However, when a company comes up with a product that fundamentally improves your life, that’s pretty amazing!
I recently came across this great article about what it means to be a disruptor brand.
It made me reflect on what products or services in my brandset have disrupted not only my brand preferences but my lifestyle and everyday routines.
In pulling together this list, I focused on items I’ve been using for a while. I wanted to filter out the shortlived fads I’ve obsessed over and which ultimately didn’t stick.
Here are my top 5:
When I turned in my Blackberry for an iPhone, my world changed.
The iPhone replaced so many other devices and services, and while I sometimes gripe about Apple, its iPhone, and all the apps, I access through it changed and improved my life immeasurably.
Here’s what it disrupted/replaced: Canon Camera, phone books, Kinko’s (when traveling), landline, GPS systems in rental cars, watch, notebooks, calculator, address book, calendar, alarm clock/timer, flashlight. The list goes on and on.
#2: Apple Pay:
Apple Pay is one of my favorites, and in this instance, it is also a stand-in for all of the electronic banking and digital payment apps that I use, e.g., Zelle, Venmo, Curb.
The number of checks I write in a year can now be counted on the fingers of one hand, as can my use of ATMs. The latter has gone from once or twice a month to a few times a year.
Disrupted/replaced: credit cards, checking accounts, cash, and ATMs.
#3: Soho House/Ludlow House
Soho House is my workplace and my social hub. I don’t need an office these days but looking back on my years of running a business and leasing office space, I cannot imagine going through that grind today. And although I still have a home office, it is a shadow of its former self as I have gotten rid of my desktop computer, printer, etc.
Any company with fewer than ten people can use a coworking space – whether it’s WeWork or any of the other firms offering flexible, short-term space.
Disrupted/replaced: office rental, home office.
#4: Uber and Via (NYC only)
I don’t take taxis much so I didn’t get into Uber for a while. But I finally got hooked while traveling. I never anticipated that I would spend a week in LA without a rental car. However, over the last five years, all of my trips to LA have been vastly improved by my ability to Uber when there.
In NYC, on the other hand, I find Uber way too expensive and have recently gotten turned on to Via which is a ride-share company where you share a vehicle (often a Mercedes Benz Van which Via formed a joint venture with in 2017).
I use Via frequently – it’s not fancy, a bit more like taking an airport shuttle but for a flat fee of $5-$10 for anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn it is a significant improvement over the outrageous fares Uber charges. Of course, I know I’m enjoying these bargain prices because of the largesse of the VCs behind the brand, but I’ll take it while I can.
Disrupted/replaced: Uber has replaced Hertz. Via has replaced both Uber and the increasingly unsavory and homeless-infested NYC subway system.
#5: Keratin Treatment
I’m a recent convert to the very pricey but so worthwhile keratin treatment (thank you, Rodrigo Padilla). Keratin is the secret to smooth, non-frizzy hair. It lasts about five months because I am not a frequent shampooer. The more often you wash your hair, the more often you need to get a treatment.
Disrupted/replaced: Weekly or even biweekly blowouts at Drybar or my local Chinatown salon.
A genuinely disruptive brand or service is just mind-blowing. You wonder how you ever lived without it.
I’ve listed my top 5 (above) but could easily add more, e.g.; I cannot imagine living without Seamless. Google Maps is another gamechanger for me.
I didn’t list Amazon because I am currently so dissatisfied with the service and don’t see a solution on the horizon. Shopping online is a fantastic concept, but getting a delivery, safely and securely, seems to be a bridge too far for most online retailers. It makes you reconsider the disruption as being more of a nightmare than a dream come true.
I would love to hear about some of your top disruptor brands.
Read on below for a quick recap from the article I referenced above. Or read it in its entirety here.
Read More >