The World’s Still Waiting on Technology to Disrupt

1024 683 David DeWolf

Software products have taken over the business world. I’ve mentioned before that your software is now your brand. Despite the dramatic shift that has already taken place, digital productization is just getting started.This point has been driven home during the past 24 hours while I was attending Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech 2013, where significant portions of the discussion have been dedicated to the future of media.

I naively tend to think of the media business as having already been transformed. The reality is that while the media business has been disrupted, it still has a long way to go.

Consider other industries, interactions, and processes that have yet to be defined.

  • Financial services still operate in traditional paradigms. Credit cards still dominate spending sources despite consumers having direct access to their funds in their pocket. Square, Stripe, and others are making progress in redefining the payment ecosystem, but the digital wallet is still more of a myth than a reality.
  • DocuSign is reinventing the way agreements are formalized. Their digital product is quite innovative and simple to use, but the vast number of agreements still end with paper signatures that are scanned and emailed. Just ask someone who has recently closed on a mortgage.
  • Uber is reinventing local transportation. They may be all the rage, but they have hardly made a dent in the taxicab industry.
  • Everyone is talking about Netflix and their foray into premium content. Microsoft is doing the same through Xbox. Regardless, most premium content is still produced by traditional media.
  • Despite quite a bit of spending, the healthcare industry still relies heavily upon the individual knowledge of its doctors. Why hasn’t the advent of big data transformed diagnosis?

These are just a few examples of where the world is still waiting for technology to disrupt the way things are done. In 20 years we’ll look back and realize that the digital revolution was still in its infancy in 2013.