How New Category Creation Helps Industries Evolve

Every now and then, a new idea comes around that is so profound, and so groundbreaking it changes an entire industry and creates a new “category.” We experience this “new category creation” all the time. From telephones arrived the cellular phone, from the first home PCs evolved gaming and entertainment systems, from cable television came on-demand digital services like Netflix, from taxis and public transport emerged Uber.

 

Category creation goes beyond mere product innovation. To create a new category, the new product must share roots with its original product class, but deliver such exponentially better benefits, experience, and economics that it no longer competes with the original products and graduates to a new product category.

"It’s about seeing a way of doing something 100x better than it’s being done in its current state. To do this you must locate all the holes that exist in the current product or process and FIX THEM.”

 

Ryan Hunt, Founder and CEO of Rig CallOut

The challenge, aside from creating this new and improved super product? How do you communicate to the masses that you’ve solved a problem so deeply embedded into their lives that over decades of time it has just become a normal constant pain?  In the medical field they call it "Chronic Pain." In the oilfield it’s been more commonly referred to as “the way we've always done it."

 

Henry Ford has a famous quote, “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” So, if a person is searching for a faster horse, how do you tell them about the magical automobile you’ve created? You must keep it simple and compare it to the reality they currently know. In Henry Ford’s case, compare it to a horse – automobile engines have horsepower.

 

Imagine telling people about Uber in New York City 15 years ago. “Here is an app – use it to call a stranger to pick you up in their personal vehicle.” It would have sounded absurd. But the concept really makes sense. Moreover, the concept works. Uber created and owns the Transportation Network Company (TNC) category, despite late entry competitors. When is the last time you heard someone ask if you took a cab to a meeting? They now ask, “Did you Uber?” Their early entry and domination of this market, allowed them to secure this nomenclature – no one asks did you Lyft to the meeting?

 

The category I, and my company Rig CallOut has developed is an improved supply chain – we’ve dubbed it the “Internet of Supply Chain,” or IoSC. (I’ll speak more about that in my next article.) The IoSC concept came together in my head while working in the oilfield. I struggled with a constant nagging question: “Why can I locate any Apple product anywhere in the world in mere seconds, but I can’t tell you where $500,000 of oilfield goods in transit are in under 30 minutes with less than 10 phone calls?”

 

Rig CallOut is not only the answer to this question that, I, and so many others faced; it’s a deep dive into solving ALL the problems that exist in the oilfield supply chain. It’s about evolving from the way we’ve always done it. We have created a new Category of Supply Chain Visibility.

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