The world is innovating faster than ever, and the future is bright.
In 2019, these five disruptors are making significant waves in their respective industries, creating a ‘blue ocean’.
You may not have heard of them yet, but they’re gaining traction fast.
Most business seminars are dull and boring. Entrepreneurs Andrew Lock, Ryan Lee & Chris Farrell decided to change that when they came up with SAM, which stands for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing.
It’s a 2 day live theatrical event in Las Vegas that’s part TED talks, part Broadway, combined with a lot of fun.
With their background in the entertainment business, Lock & Farrell decided to turn ‘show-business’ into a ‘business-show’.
Entrepreneurial experts present short 18 minute talks and share the latest breakthroughs and strategies for growing any business. The business presentations are interspersed with jaw-dropping entertainment from well-known singers, musicians, and comedians, so you learn while having fun.
It’s an interesting mix of left and right brain stimulation. The audience finds it easier to pay attention, they retain more, and of course it’s much more fun.
Unlike traditional business conferences that often cost thousands of dollars, SAM gives away tickets for free. Sponsors cover the majority of the costs, and the expo area provides additional income as well as value to attendees.
Ryan Arnold, a Salt Lake City based doctor, commented: “SAM represents crazy value. I’ve never gotten so much for paying so little. It’s a unique format, with unique entertainment in a unique setting. It’s hands down the best business training event I’ve ever attended.”
Traveling through U.S. airport security is a miserable experience for most people. CLEAR, a private company based in New York is aiming to change all that. Any U.S. citizen or green card holder can apply for the service, and after verifying your identity, they are granted privileged access to a fast-lane at many major airports.
Travelers approved by CLEAR walk up to a kiosk, place two fingers on a touch-sensor to verify their identity, and they’re instantly whisked to the front of the TSA line, bypassing other bemused passengers who may have been standing in line for more than 45 minutes. If you’ve ever been through Orlando MCO airport or Denver, you’ll know exactly how that feels.
The company has struck deals with more than 40 airports, as well as popular sports and concert arenas and stadiums. Howard Kass, executive vice president says, “Clear allows you to know with certainty that you are going to get into the security process in a short period of time.”
CLEAR membership costs $180 a year, and covers all participating airports and venues. A partnership with Delta Airlines means all Skymiles members can get discounted access to CLEAR, and the top-tier Diamond medallion members are given a complimentary account.
The Aldi grocery store chain has had a small presence in the U.S. since the 1970’s, but in the last few years they’ve embarked on a huge expansion. The German company is making significant waves, and building a cult-like following along the way.
The key to their popularity is in offering a limited range of high-quality products at unbelievably low prices, often even lower than Walmart. How do they do it? It’s a no-frills approach, without appearing down-market. The stores are small and easy to navigate, goods are displayed on industrial style racks, customers are charged for plastic bags, and the shopping carts require a quarter to rent. But none of that seems to matter to enthusiastic customers who can’t seem to get enough.
It took two decades for Aldi to expand to 500 stores, and the company currently has more than 1800 stores across 35 states, with a focus on the Midwest, Florida, and California.
Interestingly, Aldi’s demographic is very wide. Naturally, they appeal to low-income families, but Aldi has also strategically made an effort to appeal to high-income shoppers by offering niche imported items like cheese and pastas from Europe, kombucha, and a selection of gluten-free products. You’re just as likely to see a BMW or Mercedes in the Aldi parking lot, as a pickup truck or minivan. There hasn’t been a disruptor in the grocery business like this in a long time.
Sending money to a recipient in another country has traditionally been an awkward process, not to mention the significant commission fees that are usually involved. It’s not unusual for banks to charge 10% of the amount you want to send.
Co-founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann came up with the idea for TransferWise after getting frustrated at the large fees they were being charged to send money between Estonia and London for their work. They decided to create a service that makes transfers easy, fast, and inexpensive.
The service works by charging customers the real current exchange rate, plus a fair fee. Its transparent, and the really innovative part is that the money never actually crosses any borders as it does with the traditional approach. Instead, customers pay into the bank account of the local TransferWise country, and the money is then deposited from the TransferWise bank account of the recipient country, based on current exchange rates.
The company launched in 2011, and became profitable in 2017. This year they’re gaining significant traction, and appear to be approaching a tipping point of widespread name recognition.
Prescription drugs are big business in the U.S. Really big business. GoodRX is disrupting the industry by offering everyone easy access to the best drug prices, without having to buy insurance or complicated discount programs.
The service works from either the GoodRX website or smart phone app. Customers looking for a prescription simply type in the name of the drug, along with their zip code, and the system displays the lowest real-time prices for the specified location.
The disparity of pricing is often astonishing. It’s not unusual to see a difference of a hundred dollars or more among suppliers, especially when there are both generic and brand-name drugs on offer. Major supermarkets like Target, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreen participate in the program, as well as larger warehouse chains like Costco and Sam’s Club.
To redeem the discounted price, customers are given a printable coupon that they hand to the pharmacist when depositing their prescription. Users of the smart phone app can simply show the screen that has the same information.
Since their founding, GoodRX claim they’ve helped Americans save more than $10 billion on prescriptions, and judging by the 5 star reviews on the app store, customers couldn’t be happier at both the ease of use and the significant savings.
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