As technology advances throughout the years, companies in almost all industries are continuously challenged and forced to adapt to these changes or risk becoming obsolete. With its definition being “a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses”. The phenomenon is known as industry disruption, one that appears often in the world of business.

Whether it be car-sharing apps disrupting traditional transportation, online media platforms removing the need for long-established news media or online bookstores shutting down the conventional publishing industry. This article will be discussing five big tech companies which disrupted their respective industries.

One big tech company which has radically changed the landscape of the media distribution industry is the video-streaming platform, Netflix. Being the 10th largest internet company based on revenue, worth $11.7 billion in 2017. Netflix has become one of the most used services online with a reported 117.6 million people subscribed to its services.

The company started out as a small competitor to larger brands such as Blockbuster, initially running as a postal business utilizing delivery methods such as express post. As online streaming became a reality through the internet, the success of Netflix skyrocketed due to its low-cost, convenience and wide selection of movies.
According to eMarketer, 81 million US adults will cut the cord on cable TV by 2021.The benefits of online streaming services provided by companies such as Netflix has led to traditional cable television becoming obsolete.

With Amazon’s release of the Kindle in 2007, another industry that has been disrupted by technology is the publishing industry. Today, eBooks have become increasingly common with 457 million eBooks being distributed, nearly half of books sold in 2013.
Traditionally, the publishing industry has been very restricted. With third-party publishing becoming available, more authors are now able to have their content published and distributed. This, combined with easy access to print-on-demand services has led to Amazon’s eBook industry becoming a worthy adversary.

YouTube and Others
Traditional news media is another industry that has been disrupted by online media platforms such as YouTube. With the Wall Street Journal reporting that online video platforms have 10 times more viewers than cable television, YouTube is quickly becoming the future of media.
In a survey conducted by Monmouth University, 75% of Americans believe that traditional “media outlets report fake news”. This distrust in the media has led to a large number of viewers vacating these platforms towards online media alternatives. With fewer people watching traditional media, less marketing dollars are spent on commercials in favour of advertisements on YouTube. This, in turn, harms the news industry.

Founded in 2009, Uber is a peer-to-peer transportation service which has disrupted the taxi transportation industry. Having a value of $50 billion in 2015 according to Forbes, it is considered to be the 13th most used online service to date.
The convenience provided by the service allows customers to easily hire a driver without the complications that come with trying to get a taxi. The convenience and low-cost of Uber services have disrupted the taxi industry.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an online educational non-profit website founded by Salman Khan. According to the Skoll Foundation, “64% of first-generation students at top universities in the US’ credit Khan Academy as a part of their education.

This proves that online education is effective and is a force that traditional educational institutes should reckon with. This innovative approach to education has disrupted the educational industry and will soon revolutionize education.