When Uber and Lyft created the ride-sharing market with their revolutionary mobile apps, there was some speculation as to whether either company would prosper or not. Well, we know what happened. Both companies went on to become disruptive forces in the transport and livery arena. They became the 'poster children', if you will, of market disruption.
Today we constantly hear about disruptive innovations and technologies. Literally thousands of companies and organizations consider themselves disruptors. Some truly are while others are not. One thing we can say for sure is that DIY technology is disrupting the home security and automation market.
What Makes an Innovation Disruptive?
To understand how DIY technology is disrupting home security and automation it is helpful to understand what qualifies a specific innovation, technology or business model as disruptive. The definition can be traced back to business consultant Clayton Christiansen and a 1995 article he wrote entitled Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave.
According to Christiansen, a disruptive innovation is one that creates a new market and value network to the extent that it disrupts the existing market and value network by displacing current market-leading firms, products, and alliances.
Simply put, a disruptive technology or innovation is so revolutionary in its concept or design that it takes business away from current market leaders and allows new players to rise to prominence. Uber and Lyft have both been disruptive in the sense that they instantly became very competitive traditional taxi and livery services. Today, the whole concept of ride-sharing is no longer abnormal. It is a business model that is effectively competing with taxi and livery companies all over the world.
Why Is DIY Disrupting Home Security and Automation?
Just like ride-sharing has disrupted the taxi/delivery industry, DIY technology is disrupting home security and automation. We are seeing it on several different levels, beginning with the installation of home security and automation systems.
Prior to wireless DIY technology, the industry did very well selling security and automation systems to customers through local dealers who would also provide installation services. Customers would purchase equipment, pay for professional installation, and then agree to monthly contracts for monitoring service. Everything worked just fine under this model.
When wireless technology came along, it created an entirely new market based on DIY installations. Since wireless technology requires no construction, it also does not need professionals to come out to install systems designed to work right out of the box. Anyone capable of setting up a home wi-fi network can set up a basic home security and automation system. Home automation security has become less expensive as a result.
DIY home security and automation also eliminate the need for professional monitoring for customers who do not want to pay that extra expense. In other words, they can monitor their own systems with a mobile device. Any sort of alarm that is triggered instantly sends a push notification to the mobile device instead of a central monitoring station. The homeowner can then decide how to respond based on the message received.
Of course, the DIY model is not right for everyone. But for those who appreciate the lower costs and greater control, DIY is the only way to go. The industry knows this all too well. With the rise of DIY home security and automation, companies continuing to rely exclusively on the old model are finding the competition for customers stiffer than it has ever been. This is good because a disruptive market is one that is open to more innovation – innovation that ultimately makes the market better.