We’re all in the same war.
Whatever industry we’re in, whatever position we’ve earned in our markets, whatever we’re making or selling, we’re all in this same struggle for incremental improvements.
We spend our energy, wherever we are, thinking of clever new ways to shave seconds off our processes and to save pennies on our costs, to land the next big deal or market the next innovation that will pull our organizations one more notch ahead.
This is how businesses grow; this is how industries stay alive: scratching away at the status quo, inching it slowly forward.
I get it. We all get it. But it’s exhausting.
That’s why I like people like Elon Musk.
As our new Staff Writer, John Hitch, describes in his cover story for our August issue -- "Tesla's Power Grab" -- Musk and his company, Tesla Motors, is out to disrupt the energy market.
This isn’t about improving the energy industry. It’s not about half steps or incremental improvements. If he has his way, Musk’s batteries and solar arrays will fundamentally change the way homes and businesses generate, store, and consume power. The entire industry will change.
This is the same thing he is also trying to do to the auto industry at Tesla; it’s the same thing he is doing to space transport with SpaceX. And it’s the same thing he did to commerce back in 1998 with PayPal.
Musk and innovators like him are fighting a different fight. Their basic objective is to transform markets, to blow them up and start afresh. They are out to unseat yesterday’s major players and make room for new kings, new processes, new directions.
They are out for total disruption. Which is refreshing. It’s even more refreshing when we notice just how much of this is going on today.
Look around at the manufacturing industry. All of the talk about the Internet of Things, about smart manufacturing, 3D printing, M2M technologies, clouds, and robots—all of these amazing new gadgets and tools aren’t just to help us do our jobs a little better.
They are here to change our jobs. They are here to substantially disrupt the status quo and bring on new, unexplored levels of productivity and efficiency.
Not all of these may work in the end. Even Musk’s additions might not impact anything at all.
But they are all opening doors to innovations that will eventually stick—innovations that will allow us to carve enormous chunks of time and pockets full of savings out of our processes; innovations that will put us out of work, that will create new jobs; innovations that will destroy industries and create new ones in their stead.
We are living in the golden age of disruption—a terrifying and amazing age. It’s a whole new battle, a whole new world of changes.
- Travis Hessman
New Equipment Digest