Industries Ripe for Tech Disruption

I have spent a lot of time in the last few years pondering what industries might be ripe for disruption. Working with miDrive has made me interested in what else might be out there that could benefit from the startup touch. It is also often something I am asked by others and recently I think I might have stumbled on the answer.

Industries that excite me the most are ones that have the potential to be both massive and that currently have very little technology presence or outdated technology. When I say massive I would quantify that as being a large user base or a large potential reach. There also needs to be the opportunity to really change peoples lives. What excites me about miDrive is that most of the population drive and at one point they had to learn to drive and pass a test. However the disruption in the car industry is already under way. We can see this in recent years with the appearance of startups like Automatic and Dash.

Other obvious industries might be property as we spend more money on our house than we do on our cars. For me property is already stitched up, with the likes of Right Move and other web and app startups doing well in the property sector. Others say wearable technology and health technology will be the next battle ground, but again this is already happening now. Between FitBit, Jawbone, Withings and new players on the scene this market is already being reinvented with interesting software and hardware solutions.

Pets is another interesting one. We spend a lot of money on our pets and lots of us have pets. I think this is definitely an area to watch in the future. Startups in this space appear to be earlier in their journey than the previously mentioned industries. Only today PC Pro stated that Pet tech [would be] the next multi-billion industry. Although pets and many of these other industries are interesting they are not the industry I currently feel is ripe for disruption. For me that is the baby industry!

Any parent will know, the financial outlay during the last few months of pregnancy is huge. Pushchairs, car seats, cots and highchairs, are all expensive. As a soon to be parent you want the best for your child and the specialist web marketplaces for these products are not to the Etsy, Amazon, and Ebay standard we are now accustomed too. We want ratings and reviews, good photographs and videos. We expect pre paid returns postage incase the purchase does not meet our expectations. What we are looking for is somebody to build an Amazon style marketplace specialising in being the best baby product site on the web. Think of Mothercare on the web but done many times better. What about a Dollar Shave Club model for nappies? We all need a regular supply of nappies, why not have them direct to our door and paid for through a subscription?

Furthermore it is not just e-commerce where we want startups to start shaking up the baby industry. Hardware technology in the baby sector is ready to be shaken up too. Most of us already have powerful smart phones so why are we paying out over £100 for baby monitors based on outdated and old technology? We can already see interest in this sector, Dormi was shown to me by a colleague this week and it shows what can be achieved. I am sure going forward we will see more hardware and mobile startups taking on traditional baby gadgets.

My final thoughts on gaps in the baby sector are ideas on tracking and support based mobile apps for parents. Going through the experience of weaning a baby on to food or teaching a toddler to potty train can be hard work. What we need is apps that help track the progress and offer advice and support when it is needed. We are seeing this in the fitness and healthcare space so why not in the parenting arena?

So my predictions are that the baby and parent sectors are the next multi-billion industries to see a tech and startup explosion. Lets see if I am right in a years time...

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