The Impact of New Technologies on Incumbent Industries

Century-old industries are being dismantled by tech companies faster than you can say “Bob’s Your Uncle.” From precious stones to trash, entrepreneurs use technology to innovate and disrupt even the most unappealing industries.

Even antiquated business models like insurance have seen tech takeovers as new companies make getting home or car insurance less daunting. Tech is a force multiplier that increases the capabilities of a few people to create new ways of thinking about old problems. Business models adapt to software as a service, 3D imagining is hasting the development of new products, and cloud computing allows simple laptops to complete massive projects.

The bigger an industry or company, the more susceptible it is to being upended by new-age thinkers. Smaller companies and startups can dip and dive while larger companies are stuck in bureaucratic tape, keeping them from implementing drastic change. Large companies eventually find a way to replicate the services of young tech companies or buy out the smaller companies straight up. Startups usually end up in one of three places: going public, purchased by a larger company, or flaming out. Regardless of the outcome, the ideas generated by creative entrepreneurs are building the stepping stones to modern business.


The pressure is on for traditional diamond companies to keep up with a new method for creating precious stones. Instead of waiting for millennia for the perfect conditions and destroying the earth to retrieve them, Diamond Foundry creates diamonds with carbon heated inside of plasm reactors.

These diamonds offer a solution that is also a limit to their company. Sustainable sourcing of beautiful diamonds is a dream come true for so many as the workers in this industry are exploited by diamond mining companies and work in terrible, inhumane conditions. The humanmade aspect of the diamonds is enough to drive away diamond enthusiasts who want to keep buying diamonds the traditional way even though the atomic makeup of Diamond Foundry’s diamonds is the same as earth-grown ones.


Not everyone wants to make a living making extravagant things. One company sees the value in what most would deem meaningless. Garbage is something we all create but don’t have to deal with because people in trucks come by and pick it up once a week. An Atlanta based company, Rubicon Global, is turning garbage collections into a business while trying to fight off industry giants. The company pairs independent garbage collectors (you can freelance at anything) with corporate clients to help save businesses money and give independent garbage companies a chance to compete with the goliaths.

As a tech company, Rubicon Global needs front-end developers to create infrastructure retailers and independent garbage collectors use to facilitate their business. Other people’s trash can be your treasure if you become a front-end developer without a degree.

Tracking Students

Keeping track of students, their progress, and their positive or negative behaviors used to require complex tracking sheets and tricky processes. ClassDojo is looking to put classroom management into one app. One of the biggest perks of ClassDojo is that it allows you to create positive incentives for your students and keep track of them easily. The best part of this app for teachers is the student companion app. Instead of getting twenty little voices asking how many class points they have, the teacher can direct them to their respective apps. This lessens the teacher’s burden and puts it on the kid to take control of their actions and control their destiny. Teachers can keep track of their younglings’ progress towards obtaining the basic skills to secure a computer science career and make more innovations to the classroom.

Student Loans

Some entrepreneurs opt to head straight for the money. SoFi is one of those companies. The financial services app offers a plethora of features to help clients get control of their financial lives. SoFi’s primary focus is on student loans. Student loans are a plague for millennials, as the cost of education rises. SoFi is upending student loans by allowing other people to offer funds instead of taking them from banks. This crowdsourcing of funds and lower interest rates is becoming a growing business. There are often hurdles and legions of red tape financial startups must jump through, but the unique nature of SoFi doesn’t fall under that jurisdiction. On its way to becoming a regular bank with checking accounts, SoFi might end up putting banking into the hands of many rather than only the institutions. Fintech companies, like SoFi, are on the lookout for software engineers and other tech professionals and often hire tech professionals who graduate from Bay Area coding bootcamps.