Now more than halfway through the year, the speedy freight train of disruption shows no signs of slowing down.
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1. Apple Watch: Consumer demand for wearable tech shows no signs of slowing down, especially now that Apple has entered the market. Launched in April of this year, Apple threw its ever-so-giant hat in the ring and was crowned the “world’s bestselling wearable,” pulling in $4.2 million last quarter according to a report by Canalys. The Apple Watch brings with it many significant implications, especially for the retail industry. With easier ways to find locations, deals and make purchases, customers can once again experience the lost art of shopping in traditional offline stores.
2. Jet.com: Amazon and Alibaba, considered the Goliaths of e-commerce, have a brave new challenger in Jet.com, a NJ-based startup. Built on a subscription model, Jet.com promises shoppers lowest prices than elsewhere. To compete, the model calls for taking the inefficiencies out of the retailer to customer transactions.
3. Google’s self-driving car: This year, Google’s adorable self-driving car hit the streets of Mountainview. The pod-shaped vehicle may give off an innocuous vibe, but when it comes to disruption, it has car manufacturing companies, repair shop industry and auto insurance companies on the edge of their seats.
4. Oculus Rift: Coming to the fore in 2013 with the help of a remarkably successful Kickstarter campaign, the Oculus Rift will inevitably go beyond just disrupting the gaming industry. The company made its retail debut this year with Lowe’s in an effort to simulate in-store experiences. As augmented reality becomes more conventional, be on the lookout for more of these similar experiences offered by other retail chains.
5. Chipotle goes non-GMO: Chipotle’s complete jettisoning GMOs (genetically modified organism) from their entire menu has set the bar exceedingly high for food retail chains. While the debate over GMO-containing foods’ effects are riskier than conventional foods is still ongoing, Chipotle has taken an unequivocal stance on the matter.
6 & 7. Meerkat & Periscope: Twitter’s $100 million acquisition of Periscope this year helped propel the company just above its direct competitor Meerkat, which debuted just weeks prior. Both apps are similar in that users are able to live broadcast video/audio to a community from their mobile device. While the two platforms still seem to be duking it out, it’s apparent that the media industry in its entirety will be hugely impacted by them.
8. CrowdFranchise: The future of franchising is here, thanks to an innovative crowdfunding concept that allows individuals to help fund and invest in franchise brands in their communities. With the recent loosening of SEC regulations on soliciting funds from non-accredited investors, CrowdFranchise has not only created itself a niche market within the franchising industry, but also turned the traditional model of franchising on its head.
9. Slack: Make way for the coolest new kids in the valley. Slack, a SaaS (Software as a Service) collaboration tool is currently valued at a whopping $2.5 billion valuation after another round of funding. According to SaaScribe, Slack is not only disrupting Skype, but it also may put an end to email altogether.
10. Tesla Powerwall: Elon Musk, perhaps now more than ever, has become synonymous with disruption and innovation. In May of this year, Musk unveiled the Tesla Powerwall, a home battery device that stores electricity generated from solar panels. With power companies charging higher rates during peak evening hours, houses can instead choose to tap into the Powerwall’s reservoir of electricity, leaving money in consumer’s pockets and helping decrease in carbon emissions. With deliveries being made to the public this summer, utility companies will be forced to reckon with Elon’s Powerwall in the very near future.