The Real Meaning Of Disruptive Technology. And What The Next One Is.

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Disruptive technology is a technology that changes everything. It creates on a global scale, new ways of doing things and wipe out the old ways.


Think of just a few years ago when there were no iPhones and Android phones. For some of us it's almost like a mystery how we survived then. Phones were basically for making phone calls, sending/receiving text messages, playing boring java games and listening to radio. But since the genuinely smartphones came out, everything changed. 
  • It wiped out the java game for mobile phones industry. (Remember waptrick?)
  • It pretty much wiped out Nokia, Trium, Sagem, Siemens, Alcatel, NEC, Panasonic and Sharp from the phone manufacturing industry.
  • It caused a reduction in the global sales of PCs
  • It is currently giving telcos (e.g. MTN, Airtel, Glo, Etisalat) lots of worries. People are prefering to Whatsapp, BBM, tweet and email than to make a phone call to pass the same message. 
  • Alaba International market is already suffering. People are watching movies on their phones rather than buying DVDs and VCDs.
  • Google map on smartphone has changed how we drive to places we don't know.
  • Some people even operate their business right from their smartphones
And those are just the changes I could list off the top of my head. It is one of the most recent disruptive technology we have experienced.

The most powerful one is the internet. It changed everything in a big way. It killed everything that tried to stand in its way. NIPOST will never rise again because of the internet, except it changes its business model like DHL did. The biggest companies in the world are in the technology space and are largely internet companies (companies that operate primarily via the internet). The internet also gave us online education (online B.Sc, masters and Ph.D). It gave us virtual workers (people who work from home and even for companies in another continent). It is killing the newspaper industry and making the TV go obsolete. Only the invention of the printing press comes close to the global impact the internet has had on mankind.

Now there is another one already steaming up. The next major disruptive technology. Something big enough to change everything. And it is AI. Artificial Intelligence. Don't be deceived by the technical name it wields or the fact that it has been around for long. Currently, it is getting reborn. 

I am sure you've heard of Siri, Cortana, Google Now, Alexa (Amazon Echo), Google Glass, Virtual Reality and home robots. They are the new ways AI is getting reborn. Soon you will be giving out instruction to your phone to book you a flight, to take down notes, to switch on your TV, to play you your favorite music and to remind you of your appointments. And that is the easy to comprehend beginning. There will be a whole new set of devices and technology that will allow regular (non-techy) people easily automate their daily activities. Driving inclusive. Everything will be smart: smart homes, self driving cars, smart cooker, smart pressing iron, smart table, smart cup, smart garri (a joke).

The greatest change would be in the business world. People won't see the need to have a personal assistant anymore, especially those in middle management or head of a small company. Increasingly low-value job roles like gateman, cleaner, typist, cashier and driver will be taken over by AI powered machines/systems. 

I think the eCommerce business world will be hit big. When people instruct their phones to buy them what they need, the phones will search online for the cheapest provider and all available valid coupons. The eCommerce site that will win always will be the one that is able to convince the phones that it is the cheapest provider. One optimised for robots and not people.

It would be another exciting time for everyone of us. Just like we now enjoy Whatsapping.


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