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Revisiting Service Disruptors

Innovation, Interruption or Disruption?

Alternative fuel power for trucks

Alternative Fuel for Semi-Trucks

“Pardon the interruption.”

Or: “Welcome to our disruption.”

If we interrupted, you were in the middle of a sentence and we chimed in with our statement. Hurricane Harvey was a major disruptor—to life, to business, to transportation.

If we disrupted, you were in the middle of business operations and we came along and, well, undercut you. We’ve highlighted the Betamax vs. VHS tape competition in a previous post. VHS won out (not necessarily because it was a better product, though it did have better marketing).

Earlier this year, CNBC released its Disruptor 50 list, which points to “private companies in a range of industries – from biotech and machine learning to transportation and retail – whose innovations are changing the world.”

Many of these companies are backed by venture capitalists, execution of their marketing buzz is elevated beyond what typically can be orchestrated with crowdsourced funding.

It’s one thing to disrupt for the sake of disruption. You make a splash and hope that the consumers take to your produce in droves. Quality and necessity often are secondary to the product’s relevance, worth, or need. (Go ahead, untuck your shirt and see how that looks and feels. Don’t like it? There’s a disruptive solution for you.)

Today, we have competition within various industries for the title of Disruptor: Lyft vs. Uber, Airbnb vs. VRBO, SpaceX vs. NASA.

And then there is Tesla vs. Nikola. We’ve written often about the advent and promise of hydrogen powered semi-trucks. We’re cautiously optimistic that this alternate energy source will be a major disruptor to the transportation industry, and in a positive way.

(Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe. The Nikola Motor Company intends to harness this into its trucks, toward zero emissions, quick refills, lower operating costs, and exceptional warranty/service plans.)

Tesla is in the game, too, with its Class 8 semi-truck, due for its unveiling this week.

We’re all in favor of competition. NATCO depends on it to keep our pricing fair to our customers and to our carriers.

In the story of disruptors, at some point the pieces will set into place, and everyone involved in the respective industry adapts to the innovation.

And with that, Team NATCO much prefers the disruption over the interruption.