Evolution is a normal and accepted part of life. In fact, we’ve come to expect it, and depend on it, in select scenarios. The evolution we’ve seen brought about by the industrial era and now the digital age, have added luxury and convenience to our lives. Communication has evolved to the point where interactions across the globe are nearly instantaneous. Humans can travel to different contents in a matter of hours and experience cultures they were previously only able to read about.
There are entire factions of society set up to profit off of evolution. Capitalism itself is built on the premise that within a free market, strong ideas will thrive when customers are given the opportunity to select. On Wall street, It’s up to the traders to understand and predict the evolution of industries.
Within an industry those that fail to adapt fall by the wayside. Take the classic example of Blockbuster vs Netflix. Acquired for 8.4B in 1997 Blockbuster was seen as a massively expansive company. Two years later Netflix launched and quickly carved out a Digital niche where Blockbuster was weak. They saw a chink the armor of a behemoth and found a pocket of success that could scale effectively. In 2000 just 3 years after their founding, Netflix offered Blockbuster a deal to acquire them for 50M with an added agreement that netflix would run Blockbuster’s online business. With the luxury of hindsight, we can see how incredibly short sided Blockbuster was. They didn’t understand the technology, and business model so from their perspective, how could it possibly work?
Harvard business review writes about industry evolutions - “Industries evolve along four distinct trajectories—radical, progressive, creative, and intermediating. The four trajectories set boundaries on what will generate profits in a business. Many companies have incurred losses because they tried to innovate outside of those boundaries.”
We’ll focus on two types of evolutionary tracts, radical and intermediate evolutions. Radical transformation occurs when both core activities and core assets are threatened with obsolescence. The relevance of an industry’s established capabilities and resources is diminished by some outside alternative; relationships with buyers and suppliers come under attack; and companies are eventually thrown into crisis. Think, the typewriter.
Intermediating change is more common than radical industry evolution. It typically occurs when buyers and suppliers have new options because they have gained unprecedented access to information.
The field of optometry seems to be ripe for an intermediate transformation. With rising healthcare costs, and the internet of things coming, the industry could use a transformation that is kind to both patients and doctors.
Every 30 years, we see a major advancement in the eye industry that benefits the group. And we’re at that moment again. It’s yet to be seen how this next solution will lead to further evolution of the industry. But one thing is certain; it is not a matter of if, but when.
In the digital transformation era, Digiteyez Technologies is the only company who has successfully digitized a passive eye exam solution to accurately calculate and model a patient’s eyeglass prescription and visual performance. Designed for optometrists and eye care providers, our solution provides a more efficient alternative to traditional eye exam equipment and procedures reducing the average time, cost, and footprint required to determine a patient’s prescription by 50%; allowing eye care providers to see more patients per day. While we understand that our tech will spawn an evolution, it will be the duty of our organization to make sure the next evolution of eye care helps expand services to underserved communities while fulfilling the business goals of all eye care providers.