Minimum Viable Products and other schtuff

Marc Andreessen predicts that the next wave for successful startups are startups that take over for existing incumbent businesses.  Uber is “Software eats Taxis”.  Fab.com is “Software eats Home Furnishings”.  What industries come to mind that haven’t changed in a long time?  What industries are you involved in?  If you’re looking for a startup idea, consider older industries that haven’t evolved, and apply a model for them that uses software to become more efficient.

Where would I like to see innovation?  Here are three areas where I expect to see innovation in the next few years.

1.)  Roads and Infrastructure

Road Roller

Road Roller

I still see the same tools that are used to build roads from when I was a kid.  The same slow processes, the same rigs.  The same pace.  The same missed deadlines for government infrastructure projects.  We have wasted a lot of tax money on the lack of innovation in tools to build infrastructure in the United States.

Infrastructure is seen as an industry that creates jobs in the United States.  I think this is a negative.  It’s too human capital dependent.  We could create the same number of jobs but create many more safe roads if there was true innovation in this sector.

2.)  Housing Market

You still need guys to hammer nails.  This seems incredibly inefficient.  Considering the assembly lines that are used in manufacturing plants, I’m surprised there isn’t a mobile tool that can build houses quickly.

I envision something like a mobile assembly line or robotics type machine that can crank out houses quickly once a foundation is built.  We have CAD software that creates electronic blueprints.  What’s stopping us from the next step where a machine can build a house from the ground up using electronic blueprints?

3.)  The Bathroom

Most of the things we do in the bathroom haven’t fundamentally changed in the past 50 years.  I thought there would be something that would brush my teeth while I read by now.  I should be able to wake up 100% clean without the need for a shower.

There are numerous wasted hours in the bathroom every year.  We need to clean ourselves for a variety of reasons that I don’t need to speak about, but why does it have to be so inefficient?

Original Andreessen Predictions Post:  Here is the original post about Marc Andreessen’s predictions for 2012.

§114 · January 6, 2012 · Startup Ideas · · [Print]

1 Comment to “Three Industries That Need Innovation based on Marc Andreessen’s “Software Eats _____” Predictions”

  1. Robert C says:

    I think it’s great that you point out the bathroom. For years I’ve been thinking about how barbaric it is that we still use toilet paper and how inefficient and insanitary that it is, along with other uses of the bathroom.

    In addition to those you’ve mentioned above, I can think of three industries that will require innovation within the next few years: healthcare, television, and restaurants. I think the first two have been well-documented, but restaurants can benefit immensely from technology. By using technology to integrate everything from the first order at the table to the kitchen cooking staff to metrics on how well the restaurant is performing and how many seats are open (as well as average busy/down times which can be used to market “half-off entrees” to drive more customers in), the restaurant industry is ripe for innovation.

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