This story appears in the July 2013
issue of Entrepreneur
. Subscribe »
Disruption isn't cool. Historically, disruptive ideas and companies haven't been those behind the groundbreaking technologies or products--i.e., the cool stuff. Disrupters aren't usually first to market with a new invention. They are, however, visionaries who grasp how an existing idea can be made better or cheaper or accessible to millions.
History is littered with examples: Ford's assembly line and stripped-down Model T brought cars to the everyman. Steve Jobs took the computer mouse, at the time a custom-built and expensive gadget, and had someone figure out how to make it for less than a quarter of the cost. Amazon.com didn't create online shopping, but it did bring millions of products to one storefront and deliver a better price.
The same goes for our disrupters here. They saw opportunities, ignored by existing players in their fields, to get in, grow big, change the game--and get rich along the way.
Frends has transformed a way to listen to music into a must-have women's fashion accessory. Read More »
Republic Wireless is a $19-per-month voice, text and data service that relies on Wi-Fi as its primary network. Read More »
HitBliss, an online streaming site, allows users to pay for movies and TV shows with cash earned from watching ads. Read More »
Julie Uhrman has created Ouya, an affordable, open-source console that can access a robust online gaming library. Read More »
Celly builds mobile social networks that can be accessed by any cell phone, unlocking possibilities for group communication during social and political protests. Read More »
Two San Francisco-based startups, RelayRides and Getaround, have teamed up to create a new kind of car-rental company -- one that allows car owners to rent out their vehicles. Read More »
BeeSafe Organic Lawn Care is scaling up organic fertilizer for commercial and institutional use.Read More »