What is one industry you believe will be obsolete by 2020?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Metropolitan Taxi Systems
The dual driving force of decentralized apps (Uber, Lyft) and self-driving technologies will cause the centralized taxi industry to disintegrate. In just a few short years, Uber has already made a sizable dent in their business and will continue to do so. On the other hand, automated taxis will spread like wildfire once viable. As an NYC resident, all I have to say is good riddance, yellow cabs!
2. The USPS
Almost all of the processes that used to require a mail response are completely online now, and the USPS today is essentially one big junk mail courier for companies wanting to advertise at a 1.4 percent conversion rate on average. The only spectacular aspect of the USPS is their Media Mail rate, but if the industry was privatized, the price would be just as competitive via the nature of private industry.
3. The Paper Industry
The paper industry won’t ever disappear completely, but it will be almost obsolete by 2020 as everything is digitized.
4. Home Phones
I believe home telephones will be obsolete by 2020, if not sooner. Smartphones have outpaced landlines as a far more convenient and necessary form of communication. It’s already very rare to meet someone without a cell phone. We even contemplated this year switching all our office phones to cell phones.
5. Mobile Phones
Years ago, mobile phones became portable computers, we just insisted on thinking of them as mobile phones. The industry dedicated to making and supporting phones is already in rapid decline in the U.S. Over the next 5 years, that will spread globally. All data will just be data, and no distinction will be made between phone data and Internet data. Companies caught on the wrong side will be gone.
6. Credit Cards
Just like music CDs and VCRs, the plastic card that we walk around with in our wallets could very well disappear. Sooner or later, they will be replaced with mobile payments. It’s awkward each time we have to type 16 numbers into a web page, swipe an overused card repeatedly, or have to wait for the machine to spit out that receipt. Even worse, having to sign it. Smartphones will disrupt this.
7. Movie Theaters
Sales have been declining steadily and with good reason: for the price, seeing a movie in theaters just doesn’t deliver good value. The only benefit used to be the huge screen and great sound system, but with HDTV and a small investment at home, you can create an experience that’s much superior. As more movies become available for streaming and download, movie theaters will slowly fade away.
8. Storage Media
CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray Discs, External Hard Drives, Memory Cards, etc. With the increasing presence of cloud storage, the desire to remain connected to the digital world and the increasing presence of streaming media services, many forms of physical storage will become obsolete.
9. Retail Health Insurance Agencies
The Affordable Care Act has created marketplaces for individuals to purchase health insurance. The brokerage incentives to provide individual insurance coverage will continue to evaporate and health policies will no longer be promoted by your neighborhood insurance broker.
10. Cable TV
The Internet is changing the way we consume video. Millions have already ditched their cable subscriptions in favor of Netflix accounts. As high-speed Internet reaches more places, there will be less of a need to keep paying for your old cable service. You can already get almost everything you want on demand except live sports. When that fully switches to live streaming, it’s game over.
Mobile payment apps like LevelUp, Venmo, Google Wallet and Apple Pay make it fast, easy and convenient to pay for anything. As more retailers adopt alternative payment methods and new technologies, there will soon be no need to fish out the old leather wallet from the back pocket or pay a visit to the ATM for cash.
12. Fast Food Workers
In a restaurant atmosphere that’s all about low price and fast service, the workers themselves will quickly become expendable. This is because customers don’t care so much about service, but rather that they can get the right order in the same amount of time or less. With the push for higher wages, this could become reality sooner rather than later.