On the 16th of September, Taxi drivers jammed Brussels to protest against Uber drivers. In June earlier this year, we saw the same thing happen in a much more violent way in Paris. No matter how these fight will be settled, there are long term measurements we need to take to prevent these and many future fights from happening.
There is currently a petition going around from Uber to address the situation, but we believe more will need to be done to help innovation in the long term.
Uber unfair competition?
Taxi drivers claim Uber is unfair competition, as Uber drivers don’t need to purchase an expensive license and insurance, nor follow local regulations. Because of this, Uber fares tend to be a lot cheaper and combined with the convenience and professionalism, the traditional taxi industry is no match to the $51B “Uber disruptor”.
As a result, traditional taxi drivers protest against Uber across the globe, holding on to both reasonable and unreasonable arguments.
Having to buy yourself a ridiculously expensive license is NOT a reasonable argument. Try to explain to the rest of the working people how having to buy yourself into your job for a ridiculous fee is the norm. Just because something has been a certain way for decades, doesn’t mean it should stay that way, despite your personal interests (we’re looking at you banks, with your slow and expensive money transfers).
Also being forced to remember tens of thousands of streets to become a taxi driver, while we live in a permanently connected world, is worth just about as many tears as streets.
Insurance, passenger safety and taxes all sound like reasonable arguments, but even if Uber followed those rules, people would still prefer it over regular taxis. The convenience and professionalism are simply much higher, it’s not just about price.
Uber is winning because it heavily uses technology, something that has been severely lacking in the traditional taxi industry. If anything, the drivers should be protesting against their own bosses for their lack of innovation, but we all know that isn’t going to happen.
Within the next decade, we’ll see self-driving cars roll out across the globe. Will the traditional taxi services that still exist by then try to stop this innovation too, because of some ancient law that claims there must be a human behind the wheel to transport people?
These are endless fights that will not only happen in the transport industry, but in each sector that will be disrupted by new digital challengers (so just about every sector). We really don’t want to see this happen over and over, because traditional industries and incumbents did not (want to) see the disruptors coming.
So much energy and so many great ideas will go to waste because people grasp to ancient laws that stifle innovation. We need to do something about this and solve the problem at its source.
The solution we propose
In the case of disruption, the source is education. Traditional taxi drivers never saw the disruption coming, partially because nobody ever taught them to look out for it. The average taxi driver we’ve come across didn’t exactly strike us as someone thinking about disruption, innovation and digital transformation. These people just want to protect their jobs and investments no matter what and thus hang onto unreasonable arguments as a last resort. They do what most humans do, and so the fights will continue.
To solve this problem in the long term, we need to make sure that the generations we are raising now, will understand what digital disruption means and how it can impact whatever job they want to have in the future. With automation and robotics rapidly advancing, we don’t live with the luxury of being able to become anything we want anymore. Almost all of us will be replaceable by robots in the near future. I’m no exception, algorithms are already very capable of writing articles these days.
We need to learn to “survive”, to remain relevant in an overpopulated world where everyone is rapidly becoming irrelevant. ~Sam Wouters
Bottom line, we need to learn to survive, to remain relevant in an overpopulated world where everyone is rapidly becoming irrelevant. Up until now, the education system has not been geared towards this. It offers you a broad selection of studies to help you chase your dreams, but alongside dreams, we need a healthy portion of reality and a good idea of what disruptions/innovations are potentially coming in the sector we’re in. At least that way we are prepared and we can make more informed decisions.
Don’t assume you and your sector are the exception, take it seriously and start looking ahead. Our book on Digital Transformation is a great start to help you anticipate disruption.
Virtual Reality is described as one of the “Next big things” by the media, but all the abusers of “the next big thing” have made us numb for such talk. Our friends, family and influencers aren’t really talking about VR, so the debates on what it can potentially change about our lives haven’t really come through yet.
A lot of people also lack the imagination to think of how it could change our lives. We went out into the street to ask a bunch of people what they think the impact will be and how it will be used. Some of the responses (of people who knew what VR is) were:
“I think it will mostly be used for movies and probably a lot for porn.”
“It would be a lot more real to talk online than on Skype, and it would be cool for gaming if they make it well.”
“It’s mostly for games, but I don’t think people are going to want it on their head all day.”
“Virtual Reality is overhyped, I think it will pass.”
“It may be used for some things, but people are always going to want to experience the real thing more.”
“I think it is bad for the world, people are already becoming more antisocial because of their smartphone.”
The overall tone was rather dismissive instead of open-minded. Virtual Reality clearly hasn’t proven itself to the world yet and we’re not taking the word of the media for it.
Most importantly though: we don’t want to think about it, because we are uncertain or even afraid. The thought of becoming dependent on a reality that is completely different from our own is scary, so the easiest thing to do is just letting it be and holding on to our certainty for as long as possible.
From submission to control
We’ve always felt like we were in control of all technological breakthroughs. Like they served us as tools to enrich our lives, but with Virtual Reality this comes to an end.
With a VR set strapped to your head, you feel like something is literally planting stuff into your brain. You feel small and vulnerable, because it seems like you are not the one in control.
Control is one of the few crucial challenges VR needs to overcome to truly reach its potential. Once you feel comfortable with it, you will start to feel in control, and from there on, the possibilities are going to be limitless.
Experience EVERYTHING you can imagine
Have you always wanted to explore space? Now you can. Always wanted superpowers? No problem. Want to visit a place but not travel to it? Right this way.
Check out our slides on how Virtual Reality will change every day things:
As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, sooner or later we’re going to reach the point where the virtual experience becomes better than the real one. This is increasingly becoming the case for porn, where people can be completely immersed in their personal preference. It is literally taking it to the next level. Check out this great article about that on Techcrunch.
As computers learn more about us, we’re moving to a future where they will know exactly what we want, when we want it. This is already how our younger generations are growing up right now: everything on-demand. The only thing we currently know of that can get as close as possible to fulfilling that, is VR.
Are concerned parents going to put a VR set on their children? Sounds unlikely, but walking through a magical forest together with your child doesn’t sound that bad right? It’s just the beginning though. A lot more parents are allowing their kids to play with iPads now than a few years ago as well.
Virtual Reality is here to stay
The thought may scare you, but it is inevitable. There are simply too many possibilities in truly experiencing our imagination. It is only a matter of time before the technology becomes so advanced that we will simply love it and gradually let it into different parts of our lives.
You should start thinking about what it might mean for you or what the opportunities are for your business. Our book on Digital Transformation can guide you in that. It will help you to anticipate the future, so you can take it into your own hands.
You have undoubtedly heard countless references to Generation Z, Millennials, Baby boomers, etc. and how these different generations approach digital, but what does this really mean for your business? How do you keep attracting all of these people to your offering now that some people shop online more and visit less stores, while others don’t use modern technologies.
This is a complex problem both incumbents and challengers are facing in every industry. We believe all companies need to address this problem during their Digital Transformation, to avoid losing important demographics to their (new) competitors.
Here is our take on how you can do that:
Edit: Our slidedeck made it to the front page of SlideShare!
— SlideShare Today (@SlideShareToday) 8 juli 2015
We’ve analyzed tons of disruptive players when we were writing our book on Digital Transformation. We discovered 7 similarities and call them “The 7 Metaphors of Digital Disruption“. We saw that all the disruptors score high on these drivers of transformation while traditional players have trouble with these metaphors. The new players are attacking you on every level.
How can you defend your business from these new players in your market? You should learn how they operate and try to implement (elements of) the business models of disruptive companies.
We’ve made a presentation that guides you through ten business models of hyper disruptors that we found inspiring. We hope you do too.
Please let us know your thoughts about it!
Dearest clients and friends, “Standing still is moving backwards.”
We don’t know who first said these powerful words. Some say it’s a phrase from Alice in Wonderland, others think it’s sports-related but the most important thing is that these words hold a lot of truth within them. In a fast changing (digital) world, you can’t be the one standing still. Today, this quote is special for other motives than the above.
The quote is one of the reasons why DearMedia was founded already 6 years ago, in 2009. Our mission has always been to help you, our clients, understand what was going on in these rapidly changing times and create strategy to prepare you for a digital future. When things got rough, we wanted to be the reliable partner that helped you move forward in times of transformation.
But standing still is moving backwards and we too (the ones who advise you to keep calm and go on) can’t be the ones to stand still. It is exactly for this reason that we didn’t hesitate when Duval Union knocked on our doors, and why we’ve decided to take the leap forward with our team.
Therefore, we’re tremendously excited to announce that DearMedia, as from today, will continue to move forward as Duval Union Consulting.
Becoming the strategic center of the Duval Union network will grant us more possibilities, which enable us to provide you with the best advice in the domains of Digital Transformation, Digital Strategy, Social Media and Marketing Strategy. It will allow us to achieve our ambitions and the further grow our company into the leading consulting player in our market.
The main players in the fusion DearMedia-Duval Union: Jo Caudron, Dado Van Peteghem, Klaus Lommatzsch and Marc Bresseel. Photo by: © Thomas De Boever, as seen in our article in De Tijd.
The collaborative model of Duval Union will combine our strategic expertise with both experienced marcomm services and impressive tech-makers.
Although we are scaling up now, the way we approach clients and their projects will remain the same. We’ve always believed in a bootstrapped, pragmatic way of solving problems and this will never change. We have more to offer now and since we’re moving onward, we’re not standing still.
Our entire team is sincerely looking forward to this new chapter and will remain as devoted as ever to help your organization master digital transformation. We will be available to provide you with more in-depth explanation if desired.
Talk soon! 😉
Jo Caudron & Dado Van Peteghem