Founders Need to Ignore the Naysayers to Disrupt Their Industries

June 28, 2017

8:30 am

Industry disruption is the ultimate goal of every innovator these days. And with all the acclaim and media hype surrounding game-changing companies, it’s easy to set out with the intent to “disrupt” at any and all costs. But this can be a dangerous game to play. If you’re not careful, your business model can soon get derailed and put you right back at square one.

If you want to truly disrupt, your business must have laser focus and an undying commitment to your product. Whatever the critics say, it’s important to stick to your guns and have the tenacity to explore every avenue for your go-to-market strategy.

Here are five companies that will change the way you look at innovation (and some surprising lessons we can learn from their success):

Booster

There’s nothing worse than being late for a meeting, jumping in your car, and realizing that your gas tank is on empty! Thankfully, that scenario is becoming a thing of the past. Booster partners with enterprises to allow their employees to request a refill on their app. All they have to do is park their car at work and leave the fuel cap open.

When they come back to their car at the end of their shift, it’s fueled up and ready to go (at a cheaper price per gallon, and with no subscription fee or delivery charge).

The Lesson: Keep it simple! You don’t have to be a mad scientist in order to innovate! You just have to identify a common problem and have the creative courage to solve it.

ClassPass

Keeping fit is no longer about running for miles on end or mindlessly lifting dumbbells. In fact, there are tons of creative fitness classes cropping up in big cities across the country – and ClassPass is making sure you know they exist in your area. This subscription-based platform allows users to take unlimited fitness classes at hundreds of studios near them.

Read about emerging startups in the fitness and health industry

Users can spice up their workouts by trying different kinds of exercises and seeing what they like best. They can even exercise according to their mood. Yoga when they need to unwind, or crossfit when they need to get fired up. At the same time, the platform subtly (but effectively) promotes their growing list of fitness studios by filling up their classes.

The Lesson: Create a scenario that benefits everyone. Being the middleman between two parties and offering them a win/win solution creates a win/win/win all round.

YapStone

With the rise of the sharing economy has come the demand for more robust payment platforms. Since marketplaces typically bring together millions of buyers and sellers and then facilitate the transaction on their platform, these companies are in need of fintech innovation to manage the process securely and mitigate the risk.

The payment leaders at YapStone have stepped in to create a full service payments platform that maximizes payments functionality while minimizing risk. This fintech disrupter offers a custom payments solution inclusive of customer onboarding, payments processing, risk management, and a global customer support team

The Lesson: Innovation leads to innovation! When disruptors create, you need even more disruptors to support them behind the scenes. So if there’s an industry that’s exploding, figure out how you can use your area of expertise to help power these companies forward.

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Impossible Foods

Whether you’re a vegetarian or die-hard carnivore, there’s one science-based fact that can’t be ignored: animal farming is one of the biggest environmental threats our planet faces today.

The team of scientists at Impossible Foods have set out to recreate the taste, smell, look, and textures of the foods we love by using sustainable proteins and nutrients. This will require significantly less land, water, energy, and emissions to produce – helping to tackle climate change.

The Lesson: Come up with new ways of offering the same product. Whether it’s a highly innovative, protein-based plant to replace meat sources, or an unusual way of product distribution or customer service, there’s still much that can be done in existing markets.

Particle

The Internet of Things isn’t just for the techiest among us. Particle has created developer kits that allow anyone to build their own physical prototypes that can connect things to the Internet. Using this technology, hobbyists can connect their coffee machine to their alarm clock, and professionals can innovate ways to make their workspace more efficient.

Those with disabilities, such as the Founder’s own father who is deaf, can create a more comfortable environment for themselves, with a refrigerator that sends out the weekly shopping list and heating that comes on by itself.

The Lesson: Ignore the naysayers. IoT technology has come under fire from many analysts for its cost and security issues, but Particle stuck it out and has been hailed as one of the most disruptive companies of 2017. Stay true to your product and keep persevering anyway, it won’t be long before the market is ready.

This is just a handful of disruptive companies making waves in varying industries, and there are key lessons to be learned from them all. Think about the one that applies most to your business. Whether it’s offering a new way of delivering a similar product or providing necessary resources to new markets, innovation has many faces.

Read more inspirational advice on how to disrupt your industry at Tech.Co

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Venture Catalyst, Tech Journalist, Keynote Speaker, CMTO, StandUp Comic, Marketing Technology Entrepreneur, Data & Analytics Geek, Startup Growth Hacker. My Tweet-Fu is Strong. @teedubya His blog is TravisWright.com and feel free to connect with TW on LinkedIn.

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