Technological disruptors like Elon Musk, Google and Amazon will force industries and companies to accelerate or die. Companies will have to accelerate innovation and move to bolder innovation and attempt to shift to technological leapfrogging and shoot for far more aggressive productivity gains.
Toyota is reacting to the Tesla Electric cars with a plan to leapfrog batteries to solid state batteries in 2022 with triple the energy density of current batteries and lower costs and faster charging times.
Compute power increased by a trillion times over the last fifty years but the adoption of IT was generally manageable for most companies and industries. Bill Gates was more aggressive than his competitors in driving the PC age. Steve Jobs combined technologies and design to produce the smartphone and tablet.
It is the combination of technological capabilities (artificial intelligence, cloud computing, sensors, robotics etc…) and aggressive and well capitalized bold business innovators that will force a shift to moonshot innovation as a mainstream part of business.
Amazon will use Whole Foods to go after market share and worry about profit later. They will use a low price halo on key products. Whole Foods will also be par to of Amazon’s distribution chain and the reward program will be Amazon Prime.
Walmart is teaming up with Google and Google Express to compete.
Amazon has announced plans to have a huge impact on global logistics (shipping, trucking).
Amazon will force competition and adaptation in more areas of retail and logistics.
Elon Musk has the lowest priced space launch services with Spacex. Soon with the Falcon Heavy Spacex will have the largest cargo capacity into space. Mastering reusability and higher launch rate will crush most of the space launch competition. Competitors will need massive national government support in order to get back into the game. This will be similar to the support that received in order to become a competitor to Boeing in the commercial jet business.
The rocket technologies that Elon Musk is leveraging have mostly existed since the 1970s. There is some additional computer capabilities and improved materials as well, but much of the reusability of rockets was already envisioned for the Space Shuttle. The cheap reusability that was envisioned for the Space Shuttle was killed with compromises to bureaucracy and politics.
Elon and Google’s plan for a large high speed internet satellite network will bring competition to mobile and cable internet providers around the world. Mobile companies will try to respond with 5G for higher speed but the rate of innovation has been one generation every ten years and cable has made very little improvement over the last 20 years.
For electric cars and batteries and solar, Elon Musk has talked about making factories ten times better every ten years by reinventing the factory every two years.
China’s competitive capabilities rest more with the innovation in Shenzhens smartphone technology hub and with new economy leaders like Alibaba and Tencent than with overall industry and market size. China has a section of its economy with aggressive technological leadership and innovation.
China’s government supports transforming city scale and larger regions into massive factory zones.
Big bold bets on disruptive innovation at scale will transform industries to a new era of hypercompetition.