Is Technology Disrupting Business?

I took a cab recently from Cambridge, MA to downtown Boston, MA. The cabbie complained the new taxi flagging app Uber was going to disrupt and even ruin his business. Is this 30+ year taxi driver right?

From Cambridge to Silicon Valley, From United Kingdom to Israel, the same conversations are taking place. Travel agents complain Expedia has ruined their business. Music executives and many musicians complain iTunes and You Tube are disrupting their business. I’ve heard business owners say review sites and social media are disrupting them. But let’s look closer. If you’re the owner of a major corporation, you have nothing to worry about. If you’re a corporate CEO, you’ve never had it better. Nearly half of all existing businesses have been around for at least 10 years, compared to a third back in 1990. In 2013, top CEOs made 331 times that of the average American worker. In 1983, they only made 46 times that of ordinary Americans. If you’re planning to start a business or are a small business owner, you’re the one whose more likely to be disrupted. Even in the Silicon Valley, the start-up failure rate is higher than ever before. And anyone starting a business has a 27% chance of failure within the first year, the highest it’s ever been.

Well, look at how mega companies, especially tech companies, are eating smaller companies faster than Pac Man used to eat up dots. Here are a few: Facebook buys What’s App. Google buys Spider io. Amazon buys Double Helix. Apple buys Beats Headphones. I come to the conclusion technology is helping corporate America and is disrupting smaller businesses. If tech companies keep getting bigger like this, they’re going to be too big to fail. If they’re too big to fail, they’ll be too big to care. So is big technology disrupting corporate America, or is it disrupting the American?entrepreneur spirit?

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