What do you think of when you hear the word “disruptive?” Many reflexively think of losses — of certainty, of income, of yet another foothold in a world that often seems to move too quickly.
But disruptive is mostly a matter of perspective, and every loss brings gains. The Reformation was disruptive to the Church, but today’s Protestants don’t regret it. Automobiles disrupted old ways of transportation, but humans the world over love cars. Television disrupted radio, yet radio survived.
The internet takes disruptive to a new level. Building data-rich dreams upon satellite streams, tech companies are begotten, born and die in matters of days and weeks. Some endure. And some of those disrupt.
Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are disrupting taxi and livery services, while Airbnb is doing the same with the hotel and hospitality industry. The San Francisco-based company lists 1.5 million rental properties in 191 countries. Travelers who want something other than the standard hotel or motel experience — a more authentic, cheaper, or off-the-beaten-path experience — are sure to find something.
The difficulties of regulating disruptive industries spark heated debate.
[Related] Editorial: Making Airbnb work for Worcester from July 13
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