Disruption Dollars

If you’re like me and you travel enough to regularly forget which time zone you’re in; you’re always looking to save time wherever possible.

Some of my travel time saving techniques include: ninja packing skills, carry-on luggage only, laser like focus when boarding and (now) UBERing in towns where a rental car is optional.

I had my first UBER experience a few years ago on a trip out to Ottawa when a friend sent me a link for my first free ride. I arrived in Ottawa just after midnight and hailed a regular taxi at the airport cab stand.

The driver couldn’t have been more disappointed to learn that I only needed a $10 ride to the hotel nearby; I know this because he proceeded to tell me that he was waiting for 2 hours for his next fare and I was it.

When we arrived at the hotel I presented my credit card for payment to which he grumbled that he didn’t have a terminal and asked for cash.

When he learnt that I didn’t have any he reluctantly dug around his car for an old fashioned (likely cast iron) swipe credit card processing machine.

The icing on the cake was that he still asked me for a tip.

Priceless experience to say the least.

UBER it was.

The next day I needed a ride 4 times between meetings and UBER was there. Quick, easy and reasonably priced.

Being somewhat obsessed with numbers I did the math and on that day the taxi companies of Ottawa missed out on at least $100 of revenue from me alone.

That adds up fast.

How many other people are choosing alternatives like UBER to get around?

Take that one step further and think about how many other established businesses are comfortable and refusing to innovate?

Anyone of the taxi companies could have evolved and become more user friendly and easier to do business with but with a monopoly like environment there was no incentive to change.

UBER and others are coming to eat their lunch.

There are several other disruptive businesses such as AirBnB and Handy which allow anyone to rent out their room/home and compete with hotels or offer contractor services without working for a major renovations company.

There are some businesses that are unlikely to ever go away such as barber shops or pizza delivery services but even those companies (the smart ones) are incorporating technology to improve the client experience and reduce costs.

Tommy Gunn’s is a barber shop chain here in Canada where you walk in and are greeted by a smiling receptionist and a touch screen where you book your haircut yourself. All your information and payment is taken and you are in the que for a haircut. They even email you the receipt.

Think about how much time/money that saves the business and how seamless of an experience it is for the client.

The world is changing faster than ever and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to just get by.

The days of relying on cushy long term contracts with clients and your reputation alone are vanishing nearly everywhere.

You can either put your head in the sand and say that your business is different (like most people) and do nothing OR begin to take steps to make your client experience more seamless and enjoyable.


Marcin has been instrumental in building several businesses including commercial & multi family real estate investment partnerships, a consulting practice and a smart home security business serving customers nationwide. Marcin has secured over $100MM in growth capital for various businesses and has collectively spoken in front of thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, investors and those just starting to explore living life on their own terms. Outside the office Marcin can be found at the gym lifting heavy things, skiing or on the road zipping along on an extended bicycle ride.


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