Disruptive change continue unabated

Disruptive change continue unabated

Posted by Torben Rick | March 17, 2013 | Strategy
Major disruptive change - Electric bulb

The disruptive change storm is raging unabated:

  • Bricks and mortar disrupted by the internet – HMV, Blockbuster, Jessops, Comet, Boders etc. – Can anything stop the internet from huffing and puffing and blowing brick and mortar down?
  • The television could be the next platform in technology to host significant changes in the coming year – “Cord-cutting” is a growing trend since Netflix liberated the common user from traditional cable services
  • Collaborative consumption – where physical goods are shared among a group of people, rather than individually owned – might seem more reminiscent of flower power than of Gordon Gekko, but the business threats they embody are very real
  • Smartphones and tablet-PC have already disrupted or is disrupting many different business. The potential to disrupt several other businesses is huge

Disruptive change - Universal Remote

In a 2007 article penned for The Independent, CTO William Webb opined that by 2025, your phone will have become a “remote control for your life”:

Your mobile is now much more than just a communication device – more like a remote control for your life. You still call it a “mobile” from habit, but it is an organiser, entertainment device, payment device and security centre

In the future, we see all remote controls being consolidated into one option. Starters for cars, openers for garage doors, and adjusters for thermostats have already been digitized and miniaturized, and more devices will soon follow. Companies like Logitech will likely lose business, while the mobile industry will pick up the slack, and dedicated devices everywhere will struggle to justify their existence.

In the modern world, apps have supplanted dedicated devices. Why own five products with five different purposes when you could own one product with five million purposes? Connected mobile devices with app functionality have forced plenty of competitors into obsolescence and the universal remote will soon lie somewhere on that laundry list.

Though the market hasn’t had much time to respond yet, it’s pretty clear that phones, tablets, and other mobile devices are bound to become the standard for media control. They are cheaper – since we own them already – and more convenient than the dedicated alternative, plus they support additional functionality. These devices put social media, reviews, trailers, stills, fun facts, interactive program guides and a remote in your hand. Your average universal remote just can’t compete with that kind of power, and as consumers are provided with more and more IR-equipped hardware, its days will finally be numbered.

These days, universal remotes are preparing to ship out to the island of misfit toys.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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