A glance at stories from recent weeks shows how disruption is affecting every corner of our lives, as traditional models disappear or struggle to preserve a status quo that has served them so well.
Tesla came up against this in New Jersey when a state agency banned the electric carmaker from selling vehicles direct to customers rather than going through the traditional route of franchised car dealerships – a big lobbying group in NJ. Tesla CEO Elon Musk advised customers to visit alternative sites in New York and Philadelphia or to buy online for home delivery.
This will be one challenge for incoming VP of communications and marketing Simon Sproule, who is moving back from Nissan in Japan to Tesla’s California HQ – although if you listened to a fascinating This American Life radio documentary called 129 Cars on NPR last December, you might reasonably conclude the whole car dealership model is fundamentally broken anyway.
Other modern disruptors are featured in this month’s issue, including mobile gaming company Kabam (see Newsmaker profile of Steve Swasey); the digital agencies of Brooklyn’s booming DUMBO district; and the fascinating mix of old, new, and integrated models in the modern TV industry.
It will not be possible for proponents of many traditional business models to push molasses uphill for much longer in the face of such disruption. And this makes it a fascinating time for business and those communicators tasked with explaining these new structures and telling transformational stories.