MIS 2101.701 – Amy Lavin – Spring 2017

Weekly Question #5

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on February 21, 2017.  Your response only needs to be about three or four sentences. These weekly questions should reinforce class discussions, readings and show some insight.  

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Here is the question:

This week, we talked about disruptive innovation & how the rise of technology has completely changed many business and consumer driven actions.  What do you think was the most interesting or important innovation in the last few years?  Why?  What has it done to the original business model? 

Also – there’s an interesting podcast called How I Built This, which details different companies, their strategies & their innovations.  This one in particular is on Lyft and how that company came to be and how it has completely disrupted the taxi/ride sharing industry.  It’s not required, but an interesting listen if you have the time – 



35 Responses to Weekly Question #5

  • In the past few years, I think wearable technology like smartwatches and fitbits have been the most interesting innovations. After a dismal year in 2016, the wearable device industry is predicted to become increasingly invasive as well as more detached from smartphone technology in 2017. Wearables are becoming more and more proficient at analyzing data. I think one of the reasons these devices are important is because we are currently living through an obesity crisis. Devices like this have the potential to revolutionize the health care industry by helping users to lead healthier lives. We have already seen evidence of this during our discussion about wearables monitoring seizure sufferers. Increased use of wearables can disrupt business of medical alert companies that make products such as Life alert. Tech companies are looking to develop more products that integrate the human body with technology, which also poses the potential of disrupting the smartphone industry.

  • I would also agree that the technology field has greatly impacted our community over the last decade. Apple as an example has completely changed the way we operate our lives. With the Apple Watch you can now take calls, track your fitness, send texts, and many more interesting advances that impact our lives. The downside is that being so attached to your mobile device can cause harm in your workplace or in your everyday life. For example, in my workplace we are not aloud to use our phones during work hours. This is not only a work policy, but also a crucial safe guard against financial fraud on member’s accounts. It would be very easy for someone to send member’s account numbers to outside parties which is why the rules on this issue are so strict. As a whole technology is a very important part of life, and I think it greatly helps companies manage the data they receive to make smarter business choices for the company as a whole.

  • One very interesting innovation that has changed the way consumers and businesses are operating would be transportation and the ease of finding one another with modern GPS. Apps like Uber and Lyft have made public transportation a breeze. This disruptive innovation has inspired many other startups, such as AirBnb and Instacart to follow Uber’s business plan. With technology, entrepreneurs can make huge profits without investing a whole lot of money. I think that future entrepreneurs can be successful if they can find a way to make our lives easier and more efficient through connecting people via technology.

  • I think it’s very interesting how the Cable companies have eliminated the need for video stores with the subscriptions of premium channels. But, now the internet providers are cutting into the Cable company profits, with subscribers getting rid of their cable television packages and just keeping the internet. With the creation of the smart television we no longer need a cable network subscription to enjoy our favorite television shows or movies. We can stream them at our leisure without the added cost of expensive premium channel packages.

  • I think the invention of Amazon Prime has taken away going to actual stores for so many different commodities for many people. People do not have the time anymore to really go into a store and shop, and having a platform like amazon prime frees their schedule so they can be more productive in other important aspects of their lives. I think a big aspect of this is Amazon’s pantry and how people are now ordering their groceries to their doorstep instead of going to an actual grocery store. This is so much easier and less stressful and in the end can actually help to save money because you are only buying the things you need instead of casually walking around a grocery store. I think this will continue to evolve until everyone will just be shopping online instead of in stores, eliminating the grocery store’s and that business as a whole.

  • I really have noticed the effects of technology on business. Something I noticed first hand, is how it has really changed print. Not as many people are as interested in picking up a magazine or newspaper with the smartphones. My dad owned his own magazine business, and we noticed the effects that the internet and smartphones had on our business. That being said, I would have to say the smart phone is the most important invention. It has internet, a camera, you can even read books on it. They even keep adding more and more things. Look around you whenever you are out, all you see is people on their smartphones.

  • I think Spotify has revolutionized the way we listen to music, It was one of the first legal music streaming apps, and it allows you to save music to your phone. Since it gives you the ability to stream artists entire catalogs for a monthly fixed cost, consumers no longer needed to buy music, be it physical CDs or digital mp3’s through iTunes. It has even inspired competitor apps such as Apple Music and rapper Jay-Z’s company,Tidal.

  • One innovation that has really revolutionized the way we live our lives has been the proliferation of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things, or IoT, has spread quickly to several applications. We refer to many of these applications as “smart” such as smart wearable, smart home, smart city, smart environment, or smart enterprise. Devices like the Nest thermostat, Fitbit, wearable heart monitors, or an Internet connected refrigerator have all changed our lives, for better or worse. IoT is getting bigger and bigger, companies that are developing IoT solutions are receiving more and more investment, and workers with IoT experience are becoming more and more sought after.

  • To me, I believe that technology changed the way we communicate. From couriers, to written mail, to land-line telephones, to emails, to cell phones, now texts and social media. I mean how many people still have land lines telephones in their home and use them? I bet far less than a few years back. I have a land line just because it came with my entertainment package and it would have cost me more to take that out ( weird but true). I would say that we don’t even write whole sentences anymore besides for school, and work. Everything is shortened, abbreviated and in code. We don’t even call when their is a death in the family, we post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and a whole bunch of condolences sent and even people at the funeral.

    The adverse effect that this has caused is that the younger generation are not as personally social as we were. Let me explain, they can talk online and over the phone but it is awkward in person as they are shy and don’t know what to say except to look at their phones… I look around and there is six teenagers sitting on a table and no one is talking to each other but talking to other people on their phones by text or looking at their social media page. it has definitely changed…In a few years, it might be a smaller form of communication and that we just walk and connect with people around the world with cordless attachments on our bodies..

  • Even though they have been around for awhile now, I still believe the greatest invention is the smartphone. Just think about how much you can do on a smartphone; you can watch tv, listen to music, check your companies stock, complete work or homework, the possibilities are almost endless. You need a smartphone to sync your fitbit to. Smartphones have changed the way employees and businesses work, because people have constant access to their work. You can check your emails, have access to your calendar so you can plan a meeting. If you have the correct app you can also complete work from your phone. As smartphones get updated they become easier and easier to complete work on.

  • Several disruptive technologies that I use daily or frequently would have to be Netflix and Uber. I was in high school while the internet was in its infancy so I see how much that has grown and changed the world in which we live. Similar, prior to Netflix and fire fox people relied on Blockbuster (yes, I can remember that) or cable which came along with a $150 or more bill. I believe subscription services are less expensive and convenient. This has bought along services such as AirnB which I know several friends of mines have renovated their homes to rent to people taking advantage of this service. Another innovation would have to how consumers bank. This has led to fewer brick and motor businesses and employment opportunities however, things are more convenient you can actually take care of your business in the privacy of your own home.

  • Digital Health, because it saves lives. Digital Health is allowing doctors and health professionals to understand the human body on a completely different level than ever before. This technology hasn’t really changed the old business model dramatically, I feel that it has enhanced the industries ability to learn quicker and more about the body and the foods we intake. Just like the App that the Temple Student built, these Wearables combine Digital Health to help doctors and health professionals gain big data on how peoples bodies are reacting to certain activities and can alert officials in emergencies. These devices track eating habits, how many steps you take, how far you ran, how many calories you burned, how many calories you ate, your heart rate and so much more. This is information health professionals only received when meeting with patients face-to-face. Now they can get it streamed to them on a daily/real-time basis. Ultimately, digital health has and will continue to save lives, allowing health professionals to come up with new health methods, new diet plans, new workouts, new statistics on health in general.

  • In my opinion, one of the most interesting innovations of the last few years is the use of telematics in the insurance industry. This uses how you drive to give you a better rate on insurance. In the future, this will become common practice for insurance companies. Rates will no longer be determined by age or gender but rather be customized to each individual. This could be beneficial for the company because they can charge aggressive drivers a higher rate. In addition, those drivers may try to go elsewhere to get a cheaper price. This would be good for the company as well because they will only insure customers with good driving habits, leading to a decreased in claims paid by the insurance company. However, there are many restrictions that may need to be put in place in order to preserve privacy. For instance, Progressive turned off location services on their telematic devices so they are not being too invasive. Another complication would be the whether or not “bad” drivers would be able to get insurance.

  • I think one of the more interesting innovations that I have seen in the past few years in the artificial intelligence world would be items such as the Amazon echo or for me “Alexa”. It is capable of so many different things and gets better and better as they add more features. It offers voice interaction, music, ( which can come from many different sources) making to-do lists, setting alarms, adding orders to your amazon prime, updates, playing games, weather, traffic, and other real-time information. It can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation hub. I am not sure what you would say the original business model is for this because it covers some many different things. I guess it is kind of like “phone a friend” on “who wants to be a millionaire.” 🙂

  • Although it’s not considered new technology or an innovation in the last few years, smartphones are pushing the limits of user possibilities every few months. Watches, Heart monitors, Health coaches, making shopping lists, tachtometers, world times, etc. are all stuffed into pre-programmed cell phone technology. Even virtual reality and iris scanning has been beta tested on smartphones with proven success. The list gets bigger every few months as newer phones are released and newer technology is being crammed in effortlessly. This technology renders other products irrelevant and makes it easier for consumers to get the answers they need in mere seconds.

  • I think that the most important innovation in the last few years would be smartphones. After the launch of the first generation of iPhone, uncountable smartphones have been released and sold to consumers. By the time when the first generation of iPhone was launched in 2007, only a small portion of the consumers in the U.S used it. However, the population of smartphone users has grown substantially after that, and all most everyone in the world uses smartphones. Smartphone has made a huge impact on so many areas, and it has changed our ways of living. MP3 player and high resolution camera are built-in on all smart phone as standards. People play games that they downloaded from App store or Google Play. It hard to find taxis in center city ever since Uber came out. People barely use GPS devices because smartphones are GPS capable through Google Map. Also, payments can easily be made online. Infinity of smartphone has prompted all businesses to be innovative to create new business models or change the original business model in many industries. Unfortunately, many companies that failed to adopt innovation went out of business or struggling in their industries.

  • In my opinion, Internet of things is one of the most important innovation in the recent years as nowadays there are a huge number of connected devices on the IoT network. With any smart devices connected to internet through Wifi or ceullar data , people and businesses can manage their assets in better informed ways, and can make more timely and better informed decisions about what they want or need to do. This new connected world brings with it fundamental changes to society and to consumers. By sensing our surrounding environment, the IoT will create many practical improvements in our world namely increasing our convenience, health and safety, while at the same time improving energy efficiency and comfort.

  • I think that one of the most interesting trends that have really changed a business model in the last few years is crowd funding. This has allowed many developers and entrepreneurs to receive the funding that they need using social media and the internet to get the word about the product and creating lots of competition in the market. They don’t have to chase those VC and Angels, but can promise people their product along with some perks.

  • I think that the most important innovation in the last few years would be smartphones, although they’ve been around for a decade, the accessibility, use, and impact on the world has grown substantially just in last few years. The over whelming majority of Americans having a computer in their pocket that can access any information or answer any question has changed the way we live dramatically. Now this technology is spreading throughout the world, information that would take maybe months to research or wasn’t available at all is now in the hands of billions of people within seconds. These smartphones also include GPS and ordering just about anything we could possibly need online without moving which has and will drastically change the way economies operate throughout the world.

  • I was recently given a Fitbit and I think it’s one of the most interesting innovations in the last few years; I love everything that it can do, especially given that it’s so small, but my favorite feature is its ability to track my sleep. I think it’s incredible that the device can automatically detect when I fall asleep and wake up, and knows how well I slept. In a time when most people don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, Fitbits allow people to set sleep goals and track their sleeping habits.
    Obviously, I also use my Fitbit to track my daily steps and workouts. Fitbits are revolutionizing the way we analyze workouts. Before getting a Fitbit, I used apps on my phone to track my workouts. Using my Fitbit, which is conveniently located on my wrist, is easier and more detailed than using my phone to track my workouts. Aside from monitoring steps taken and distance traveled, my Fitbit also automatically calculates my heart rate, calories burned, and how difficult the workout was for me.

  • I think one business that has been disrupted the most and will continue is cable companies. With the rise of video on demand channels such as Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, and more, many people are beginning to stop buying cable and just using these services for their entertainment. Who would have thought 10 years ago that cable companies would be losing thousands of customers a year? I think a lot of it has to do with customers having more choices in their home entertainment and cable companies not adjusting their price or product to compete with this competition.

  • I think a lot of people may easily say that the most interesting or possibly important innovation in the last few years would be app development for interfacing consumers with products directly to them instead of going to market. However, I disagree, I think the most disruptive (preemptively)innovation is drone delivery. This has the potential to eliminate (or so it says – hypothetically) whole industries of merchandise transportation – first locally, regionally, and then nationally and soon internationally. I think it’s safe to say the function of mass shipment will remain in that of mass cargo carriers but everything starts small to get bigger and I think while we have planes, we could eventually have robotic delivery services for goods. This changes the original business model of finding a third party transporter or utilizing the national mail service (a struggling effort already) for small good deliveries.

  • E-commerce is not exactly new, my husband and I ordered from Amazon when it was just books, but the way it has continued to evolve is quite amazing to me. Just this week, due to a busy schedule and more work, I spent about 20 minutes ordering my grocery list. The next day I just drove to the store, checked in at the pickup location, and drove away with what I needed in about 15 minutes. All I had to do was go home and put it all away. I ordered a formal dress for my daughter online recently too. Not only was it cheaper and I did not have to make her try on a ton of dresses, I was able to get it tailored to her exact measurements so the dress will literally come ready to wear. It is seemingly little changes like this that in the long run not only change the way we live, but will definitively change business. Will it eventually come to the point where we don’t have brick and mortar stores? Perhaps they will always be around, but more for nostalgia than anything? Will small start up businesses be able to compete with large businesses when they no longer have the advantage of direct customer service?

  • I believe technology has changed a lot business process and therefore jobs. One particular example that I can think of is the change in business communication. At my job the position of front desk receptionist has been completely eliminated, due to communication channels such as cell-phones, emails, business skype, and file sharing. Because more and more people have direct, and more efficient channels of communication between departments and businesses they no longer have the need for the middle man, therefore many similar positions have been eliminated within the company.

  • I think BitCoin is the most important innovation with the last few years. Bitcoin is a digital currency that has quickly taken the financial scene by storm. BlockChain, a system behind storing and accumulating bitcoins, offers a $7 billion dollar reward to whoever can hack their system, which illustrates how secure they are and allows them to continue to improve their security systems when these hackers try to infiltrate. Even if BitCoin does not survive it has given the consumer a new way of thinking about the ownership of their money. The government does not have any real control over BitCoin because it is digital and powered by the people. Had I been asked this question maybe a year ago, I would have said the internet was the most important innovation. I think the internet is important because of waterfall of later inventions it lead to. Most other innovations that would be considered most interesting and important now stem from the internet. BitCoin has the power to alter America’s financial scene, similar to the way the internet did, for all of society.

  • To me, the most interesting innovations have to be those of artificial intelligence. They are changing the way we live, work, and entertain ourselves. Some top examples are Siri, Alexa, and one of my favorites is the Nest. The nest is a learning thermostat that actual learns your living patterns in regards to your heating and cooling needs and adjust the temperatures for you. I can be at work all day with my house set at an eco friendly 56 degrees and without doing anything I will come home at 5pm to a warm 69 degrees. If things change I am able to change the thermostat from my phone from anywhere, or I can also use my Alexa voice command and change it that way. This is saving me so much energy and money.

  • I think a key innovation for myself personally is the app Venmo. It lets you transfer money instantly to anyone, whether it be directly from your checking account or from your credit/debit card. Even if the person you’re transferring to has a different bank than yours, it’ll still work. This is great for someone like me who never carries cash and always seems to forget their lunch because then when my co-workers order lunch, I’m able to transfer them money directly for my meal. This eliminates the hassle of going to your bank and taking money out, so its just another thing we won’t need banks for because nowadays you can even deposit checks right from your bank’s app. This, along with Venmo, has completely revolutionized modern-day banking.

  • I think one of the most disruptive innovations in recent years has been streaming services. even a few years ago, you either paid the cable bill (with add-on premium packages for sports, international channels, and HBO/Starz/Showtime) or pirated the shows you wanted to watch. You went to the music store for CDs or downloaded it off of Limewire for free. My belief is that most people would prefer to get their entertainment through legal means, but would turn to torrents and piracy because they couldn’t afford media. Netflix capitalized on this when they introduced streaming video, and cable companies still are having trouble adapting. You can order Starz as an add-on to your Amazon Prime membership now! Music services such as Apple Music, Spotify, and older platforms like Rhapsody provide users with legal access to the music they enjoy without breaking the bank.

  • Any innovation that disrupts the technology world is a big part of having to do with the change of our future. I will have to say that wearables is one of the key leading technologies. The biggest thing that human beings want in life, is to live longer aside from the materialistic things. Wearable technology begins to benefit people by providing data instantly, that pertains to health. For example weight loss can become an easier way, once wearable technology can begin tracking the food intake and water levels of your body. There already is technology that does something similar, just not as accurate. But with time, this can completely monitor your entire body and in the future, begin to prevent risks such as cancer.

  • Speaking from the perspective of someone who works for a landscaping company, I think one of the most important developments has been the vast improvements that have been made to GPS and mapping software. Google Earth is something that our company uses everyday and most of our customers do not realize how advanced it has become. We are able to provide pricing on lawn cutting, fertilizing and even tree trimming and mulching simply by pulling up their home on Google Earth. More and more neighborhoods are being converted into 3D images which allows us to get a truer visualization of the property, all from inside our office. This cuts down on estimate time and ultimately provides our customers with faster service.

  • I think a pretty cool disruptive innovation that has come about is the drone. The drone has innovated a lot of things but the biggest accomplishment that is in the works and will be active soon I am sure is drone delivery. Amazon is in the works to use drones to deliver their products to their customers which will decrease the delivery time increasing the efficiency. To order something and have it delivered to your door by a robotic air craft is rather incredible to see how far we have come. Another pretty cool innovation that has come about is the progress of gaming. If you look at gaming and see how gaming as come along in the last twenty years its rather phenomenal. I grew up as games were advancing and to go from the Nintendo to barely better graphics on the original play station to the high definition graphics now on the latest systems is remarkable. There even has been leaps and bounds made on virtual reality gaming. 20 years ago I would have never thought it possible to be playing a game live against 10-20 people online and that is old news today.

  • Even though it’s fairly new, I think the most important innovation to come will be Augmented Reality technology, similar to the Holo Lens that Microsoft will release. This is an AR headset that people can wear. This will allow people to become more productive. If we think that laptops and tablets are popular now, think of a constant potential connection to this internet. You don’t have to start anything up, or worry about carrying anything clunky. Anyone having the glasses could simply be doing anything throughout their day, and have access to any information they could possibly want at any time. No more mobile/hardware limitations. We, as members of society, will always be connected. Instead of walking around with this internet in our pocket, it will be always available where ever we look.

  • I think the most interesting innovation as of late is the growth of Amazon and the addition of Amazon Prime. I recently bought Amazon Prime for myself and have yet to learn everything that comes with it. The use of one-click ordering and free two-day shipping has the potential to eliminate brick and mortar stores, especially with the addition of Amazon Fresh which gives you the ability to order groceries as well. Amazon’s echo also aids in the potential elimination of brick and mortar stores as well by allowing consumers to add things to their lists and order items just by speaking.

  • I find one of the most interesting innovations over the years has been wearable technologies. Devices such as the Fit Bit has allowed consumers to take initiative when it comes to taking control of their health. Its convenient, affordable and gives us real time stats on how many steps we take in a day, heart rate when exercising and getting enough sleep at night. All of these things are crucial in achieving a healthier lifestyle and living longer. Aside from the Fit Bit there have been many major innovations in the health care industry to help us monitor patients health and give providers more access to their patients information. An example would be tele medicine which allows a patient to monitor their vitals at home and alert a provider if any stats are out of normal range. Patients can now have virtual visits with their providers and again devices such as this empower them to take more accountability for their health. It has changed the way that providers do business. Many have not been able to keep their practices because they can not keep up with the ever changing technology in the healthcare market. The ones that innovate and keep up with the latest trends in technology will be the ones that will stay in business.

  • One of the most interesting technology innovations this year that has impacted me would be the Venmo app. This allows me, my friends, roommates, coworkers exchange funds through a mobile app that is linked to my bank account. It has completely altered the business model because now instead of writing a check to my roommate for the electrical bill, or getting out cash to pay back a friend, I can instantly transfer my money to their account. I have also recently read that China is working on technology to take an app like this to another level by using face recognition. Face++, a start up company in China, state that facial recognition has existed for decades, but only now is it accurate enough to be used in secure financial transactions. The new versions use deep learning, an artificial-intelligence technique that is especially effective for image recognition because it makes a computer zero in on the facial features that will most reliably identify a person.

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