The Top-50 Disruptors For 2019

Business as usual is no longer ‘good enough’. ‘Good Enough’ is dead.

In a world where everything is fast becoming connected & intelligent; where performance, now care of automation is looking for perfection, you can try to defend your position or take an offense product approach and innovate.

Driving your car looking in the rear view mirror leads to a crash! You can take a little time looking there, but you’d better not do it for long.

But equally, the future is a realistic understanding of where you are today and seeing how things really are within your organization.

Armed with a realistic viewpoint, as a leader you need to show and lead the digital way, rather than tell.

Why Is It So Important?

Everything is becoming connected and intelligent and it’s just a matter of time whereby everyone in your competitive landscape adopts the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies and it becomes no longer the differentiator. When that happens, what’s left to differentiate you?

Your people, their non-digitized, non-automated ways and their Creativity, Imagination, Intuition, Ethics and Emotions.

How are you harnessing them to change the game?

As with everything in the 4IR, it doesn’t start with the geeks, it can’t be delegated or abdicated to the IT guys, but instead it starts with you, the leader of the business.

You need to understand intimately the capabilities of these new technologies and then:

Create a company culture that nurtures innovation, care of creativity, intuition, ethics and emotions.

It’s fast becoming clear that the real challenge in the 4IR is the complexity of creating and building the digital culture and blending every aspect of the business with these technologies in order to innovate better, smarter and faster delivered products.

Enterprise Innovation

Innovation is so difficult for well-established enterprise as their culture surrounds execution rather than innovation and their successes come typically from optimization.

But as hard as it is, several are achieving it and they continue to look at innovation to protect current markets and to establish the new, as new entrants continue to attack.

CNBC, each year features companies in a range of industries whose innovations and disruption is changing the world. These forward-thinking companies have identified unexploited niches in the marketplace. In the process, they are creating new ecosystems for their products and services.

Unseating corporate giants is no easy feat:


With more than 650 employees and seven global locations, Indigo Ag is one of the most well-funded agtech start-ups. It raised $250 million, bringing its total funding to over $600 million. In December it acquired Tellus Labs, a satellite imaging company. The purchase now allows Indigo to create a living map of the world’s food supply to gather further information about where it needs to focus its efforts.

#2 Didi Chuxing

DiDi’s major backer is SoftBank, the Japanese technology conglomerate that is also a big investor in Uber. Another key investor is Booking Holdings. Like Uber, DiDi is in the food-delivery space. Last year it launched the service in Wuxi, a city in Jiangsu Province. It plans to roll it out to other cities soon.

Even with all this Uber imitation, there’s no need to worry about the U.S.-based ride-hailing company stealing customers from DiDi. In 2016 DiDi did away with its rival by buying Uber’s Chinese business.

#3 Didi Chuxing

Ride hailing is just one slice of Grab, the Singapore-based company that is growing rapidly across Southeast Asia. It has morphed into a leading mobile platform offering everything from transportation and financial services to on-demand grocery. It introduced GrabWheels, an on-demand scooter business, after acquiring Uber’s business in the region. The deal integrated Uber’s ride-sharing and food-delivery business in Southeast Asia onto Grab’s platform, which includes operations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, among others.

Grab Financial offers an array of products, including its popular digital-payment service GrabPay. It is making inroads with customers that don’t have substantial banking histories. In October the company partnered with MasterCard to issue prepaid cards for the unbanked. That’s key because a high percentage of the population in Southeast Asia still has no access to traditional banking, so the company is optimistic that this business will grow quickly, especially among micro-entrepreneurs. In the span of five months last year, Grab Financial’s total payment volume more than doubled, making it the leading mobile payment platform in Southeast Asia.

#4 Rent The Runway

When Harvard Business School classmates Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss started Rent the Runway in ’09, their concept was simple: Customers choose a dress, rent it for a few days and then send it back to the company in a prepaid envelope. A Christian Siriano dress that sells for $1,200? Yours to rent for $150.

Now, 10 years later, the clothing rental concept has been copied many times over, but RTR keeps finding new ways to stay ahead of the pack. Last May it introduced Platform, curated capsule collections from 39 brands, including J. Crew, Levi’s and Club Monaco. Up until now those brands haven’t been part of the subscription economy, but through RTR, customers can rent their apparel.

The company estimates that by the end of this year, apparel for Platform will account for 25% of RTR’s inventory. And to make clothing rentals even easier, RTR introduced a drop-off service in October. Six cities — New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Miami — now have drop-off boxes in 20 WeWork locations. The company says subscribers are increasing their usage in the cities with the boxes, and additional locations (hotels, gyms, residential buildings) are being planned. All of these moves helped the company reach 11 million members to date.

#5 GoodRX

The Santa Monica, California-based company is a free and easy-to-use app that let’s consumers find and compare prescription prices near where they live and work. The range between prices can be stunningly wide since there’s usually a big difference between generic and brand-name drugs, and also because pharmacies negotiate independently with drug makers and insurance companies.

GoodRx partners with major companies such as CVS, Target, Walgreen, Kroger and Walmart, enabling individuals to get real-time prices at 70,000 locations nationwide. The company says consumers can save up to 80% with its free GoodRx Pharmacy Discount Cards and the available coupons on its site, and the company claims that since it began in 2011, it has helped Americans save $10 billion on prescriptions.

& there’s another 44 exciting disruptors:

Digitalization Is The Difference

Digitalization, as seen above, continues to advance and brings dramatic implications. As it infiltrates our everyday lives it’s easy to assume it’s significantly advanced, however in a recent McKinsey’s study of executives, less than 40% of large enterprises have digitalized.

Bold, tightly integrated digital strategies will be the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t, and the biggest payouts will go to those that initiate digital disruptions. Fast-followers with operational excellence and superior organizational health won’t be far behind.

How To Respond?

It’s not too late to respond, given the relative immaturity of digitalization.

There are approaches being taken by those that thrive versus those that dive.

As Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix said, “Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly.

Thanks, Andrew




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Andrew Sparrow

Andrew Sparrow

Engineering & Implementation Resources/Solutions in Product Lifecycle & Smart Manufacturing - Shows, Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts for the Future World

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