710 The next Disruptive Innovation: Cars as a Service

One of the biggest advances in human development is underway, and it will impact the way we live our lives within five to fifteen years. Previously the biggest changes arguably were the invention of the wheel, the printing press, electricity, the computer, internet and the cell phone. What's different in this and the previous century is the incredible speed with which these innovations are upon us (SMH).

Do you own a car? Yes? Do not think of upgrading. No? Do not think of buying one. Myself, I haven’t owned a car for a decade (though admittedly I use the cars owned by the folks around me) and I thought I would only buy a car again if I could afford an EV = electric vehicle; recently I though I would wait until we have self driving cars. However, it is now clear to me, I will never again buy or own a car.

Watch these short videos by Stanford Uni lecturer Tony Seba ... but before you do, strap yourself in:


So here’s the good news: In due time private car ownership will cease (The Societal Shift of Self Driving Cars) ... this is not withstanding the fact that some people will want to own, drive and polish their hobby-cars - just like some photographers' hobby is the olden-day's film & chemicals process. 

But in the mainstream it is likely within the decade we will never buy a car again … who knows, maybe it was a good decision by the Australian government to allow the local car industry to die; though maybe a better decision would have been to pump a few billion dollars into Holden and have them join the ...

Transportation Disruptive Innovation Revolution

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances.

Not all innovations are disruptive, even if they are revolutionary. For example, the first automobiles in the late 19th century were not a disruptive innovation, because early automobiles were expensive luxury items that did not disrupt the market for horse-drawn vehicles.

The market for transportation essentially remained intact until the debut of the lower-priced Ford Model T in 1908. The mass-produced automobile was a disruptive innovation, because it changed the transportation market, whereas the first thirty years of automobiles did not.

The free, online encyclopedia Wikipedia was a disruptive innovation that had a major impact on both the traditional, for-profit printed paper encyclopedia market (e.g. Encyclopedia Britannica) and the for-profit digital encyclopedia market (e.g. Encarta). The English Wikipedia provides over 5 million articles for free; in contrast, a $1,000 set of Britannica volumes had 120,000 articles.

If you have an hour to spare, watch the whole of Tony Seba's presentation; he begins with the Clean Energy Disruption ...

From Tony Seba's website:

Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation: How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030

The industrial age of energy and transportation will be over by 2030. Maybe before. Exponentially improving technologies such as solar, electric vehicles, and autonomous (self-driving) cars will disrupt and sweep away the energy and transportation industries as we know it.

The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of rocks. It ended because a disruptive technology ushered in the Bronze Age. The era of centralized, command-and-control, extraction-resource-based energy sources (oil, gas, coal and nuclear) will not end because we run out of petroleum, natural gas, coal, or uranium. It will end because these energy sources, the business models they employ, and the products that sustain them will be disrupted by superior technologies, product architectures, and business models.

The same Silicon Valley ecosystem that created bit-based technologies that have disrupted atom-based industries is now creating bit- and electron-based technologies that will disrupt atom-based energy industries. This is a technology-based disruption reminiscent of how the cell phone, Internet, and personal computer swept away industries such as landline telephony, publishing, and mainframe computers.

Just like those technology disruptions flipped the architecture of information and brought abundant, cheap and participatory information, the clean disruption will flip the architecture of energy and bring abundant, cheap and participatory energy. Just like those previous technology disruptions, the clean disruption is inevitable and will be swift. The industrial age of energy and transportation is already giving way to an information technology and knowledge-based energy and transportation era.