Almost by definition startups need to be, and usually are, disruptive. I met a company the other day that was innovative in so many ways. Their product was new and fresh and it was a real disrupter in the staid and stuffy robotics industry. Rather than come at the industry from the heavy, expensive, and slow academic side, they were building it up from the lean, agile, consumer end of the market. They had a working prototype. So far, so good.
But when I asked the founders about when they would launch their robotic toy product, they started to sound like academics. 2013? Really? I expected to hear an answer measured in months. That’s 2-3 years away. That is eternity in the startup world.
Their slow launch is being dictated by the cycles of the toy industry. I SAY BREAK THE INDUSTRY.
The music and movie industries want to control how industry products are distributed, often at the expense of their consumers (listeners/watachers) AND their customers (musicians/filmakers). Napster, Apple, Netflix, and others are just saying no. THEY ARE BREAKING THE INDUSTRY.
Cell phone plan carriers want to control how users access mobile voice and data bandwidth, but Apple, Google, Motorola, HTC, and others are just saying no. THEY ARE BREAKING THE INDUSTRY. And then Google et al are breaking Apple’s industry model of full hardware and software integrated control.
So many books have been published recently about how the big firms on Wall Street that manage our money and our public markets are poorly managed. Yet we let them control one big aspect of our venture capital industry – our liquidity markets. Is there any one in my industry that would say the liquidity markets are not broken?!? Startups like Second Market and others are agreeing and questioning why we are doing things this way. THEY ARE BREAKING THE INDUSTRY.
So many other industries come to mind – the real estate industry, the ticket selling industry, the drug and medical device industry, the government industry (!!) – if you are a player in one of these industries, their dysfunction can prevent your success. I SAY BREAK THE INDUSTRY.
- Change Is Good, But It’s Also Really Hard (gigaom.com)
- Disruptive Startups from 2000-2010 (grasshoppergroup.com)