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Industry Disruption: People That Changed Their Industries

Industry Disruption: People That Changed Their Industries
March 23, 2018 Clare

It can get easy to become desensitised to industry disruption when it seems to be the building blocks of every startup these days.

However, aiming to be a disruptor and actually becoming one are two entirely separate things. It’s important to keep an eye on the real contenders and draw inspiration from their dedication to creating something completely out of the ordinary. We’ve put together a snapshot of leading disruptors and look into why their ideas were revolutionary in changing the face of their industries.

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Henry Ford

Company: Ford Motor Co.

Industry: Automobile

Henry Ford is often thought to be one of the first industry disruptors. Not only did he make the automobile accessible to everyday people, but he also perfected the use of an assembly line during manufacturing. Ford was a significant contributor to the era of industrialism and a pioneer of mass production. He wasn’t the first to invent the car, the assembly line or mass production. However, he seamlessly integrated essential elements of these areas to innovate the automobile and transportation industries. He knew when to make changes, how to fast-track assemblage efficiency and take care of his workers. All of these skills combined lead to Ford’s imminent success, and the consequent success of many other industries during the industrial revolution.

Steve Jobs

Company: Apple

Industry: Tech

Apple and disruption tend to go hand in hand, and it would be impossible to write an article on this topic without mentioning the brand. From the Macintosh computer to the Smartphone, iTunes to Apple Watch, Apple has changed the way that the tech industry operates. Apple started off not just by selling a computer, but by selling a lifestyle. Steve Jobs thought of his software engineers as “artists” and promoted style as a number one factor in all of his companies’ creations. This resonated with a truly widespread audience on a global scale. Steve Jobs continually navigated Apple in the direction of being different, rather than just being better.

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Brian Chesky

Company: Airbnb

Industry: Travel/Accommodation

The Share Economy is expanding, and with it so is Airbnb. Bringing the personal back into holiday accommodation, Airbnb allows guests to feel more like they are at a ‘home away from home’ when booking travel lodgings. Through Airbnb, Chesky reconnects traditional services with friendly and genuine faces, at sometimes a quarter of the price of large hotel chains. It creates connections between everyday people and takes the stuffiness out of the service industry by allowing locals to open up and share their homes. When the company first started, their clientele was completely different to those seeking high-end hotel accommodation, but today Airbnb’s success has reached people of all financial brackets. Airbnb has expanded to offer ‘experiences’ and allow guests to book restaurants through the App, all based on local host recommendations. There is also rumour that a new feature is launching, focusing on targeting professionals travelling for business. Airbnb is on the way to disrupt not only the hotel industry but the travel industry as well.

Industry disruption isn’t about competition. It’s about finding a gap in the market and building a service or product for that gap. It’s about growing and succeeding to such a level that the product/service that’s been created then pierces the mainstream audience. It completely changes people’s perceptions of an industry and how it operates.

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