Disruption is everywhere, a feature of almost every industry. It doesn’t matter if you are shooting for the stars like SpaceX or if your idea of traveling is a little more down to earth like Uber or Lyft, disruptors are changing the face of business, reinventing and innovating to the benefit of consumers worldwide.
While there are disruptors in almost every industry, here are ten that we think are worthy of a closer look.
Where: 33,000 cities in 192 countries
What: The alternative to a hotel, motel, or traditional bed and breakfast, Airbnb offers homeowners with a spare bedroom the chance to compete with international chains for the chance to host travelers for the night.
We Love: The range of rooms, apartments, homes, and even castles – all available for lease by the night, the week, or even longer.
Where: 200 cities in 53 countries
What: Imagine that – instead of calling a cab in a strange city and hoping it would find you – you could open an app, tap a couple of times, get an ETA on your pickup time, and a ride where you didn’t even have to pay in cash. That’s Uber.
We Love: Automatic payments and the end to the midnight search for a cash machine somewhere near your destination.
What: Remember when you needed to have a factory to manufacture things? Now all you need is a computer and one of Makerbot’s 3D printers. Forget the home office – Makerbot brings us to the era of the home factory.
We Love: The embrace of the Thingiverse, the open source and creative commons licensed repository for 3D printing.
4. Warby Parker
Where: USA and Canada
What: If you want prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses that are stylish, value for money, and high quality, but you don’t want to wait in line at the optometrist or a retail outlet, you want Warby Parker.
We Love: Those great styles. About half the team at DOZ wear glasses and positively drool over some of the WP designs.
What: Transferring money, especially small amounts, should be cheap and easy. With Dwolla, it is. You don’t need a credit card or a debit card, just a bank account, and its fast – instant, even – for many account to account transfers.
We Love: The flat fee of just 25 cents for transfers over $10 means we’ll never pay a percentage again – about time!
What: Giving to those who need it most should be easy, transparent, and a habit. Kiva helps connect those with means to those without means, opening opportunities for small loans to be extended by individuals to those who need a little temporary help to thrive.
We Love: The way that money can be lent, then re-lent over and over.
What: In the twentieth century the governments of the US and USSR engaged in a space race. In the twenty-first century SpaceX is proving that governments aren’t the only ones who shoot for the stars or supply the International Space Station.
We Love: SpaceX isn’t content to simply take over from the government. They are thinking human space travel, maybe even to Mars. Sign us up!
Where: 12 million hotspots worldwide
What: You don’t need the wi-fi at your home when you’re not at home, but someone walking past your place might. Fon lets you lend your wi-fi to people who need it and borrow theirs when you do. Simple, huh?
We Love: Arriving in a foreign country and getting high speed wi-fi without paying hotel rates.
What: Founders need cash, investors need to meet founders. AngelList connects two groups transparently, efficiently, and with great success – more than a quarter billion dollars have been raised through the site since 2013.
We Love: This is LinkedIn for the startup crowd: no fluff, no active verb-heavy descriptions, no BS – just founders, investors, and opportunity.
Where: More than 40 countries
What: It’s what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, anywhere you want to watch it. It’s the liberation of television from the television itself.
We Love: Binge watching House of Cards. Who doesn’t look forward to a weekend with Frank Underwood?