My wife and I have three boys: a two year old, a seven year old and an eight year old. Needless to say, we don’t go out to movie theaters that much. Occasionally, we watch movies by renting them. Recently, we’ve become huge fans of a service called redbox. I find redbox interesting because they bridge the gap between “old school” (Blockbuster) and “new school” (Netflix) moving renting.
Netflix has turned the traditional movie rental business on its head. They revolutionized and disrupted their industry delivering an unlimited number of movies to your doorstep has made movie renting much more convenient for millions of people. (And streaming it to PCs and now the Xbox 360.)
However, there’s a problem with Netflix. You have to wait for your movies to arrive. If I’m hanging out on a Friday night and I want to watch a movie that I haven’t already ordered in advance, Netflix is not going to meet my need.
To watch movies instantly with Netflix, one would need a high-end broadband connection, a newer computer; or an Xbox 360 ($299) with an XBL Gold Membership ($8, monthly).
New technology and innovation can help us make huge leaps and bounds in any industry. Often, those advancements leave gaps. In this case, there is a gap between what Netflix can offer and the aversion I have to going to Blockbuster.
That’s where redbox fits in. Redbox is a movie rental kiosk found at many retail and grocery shopping centers. They offer the convenience of a movie rental store (I can get movies now!), with no hassle. I can also reserve my movies online and go pick them up without having to talk to anybody. Plus, it can be way cheaper. Redbox provides movie rentals for $1 per night.
Not every company can be the “leader” in its industry. Not every company can continually innovate to create cutting edge ideas. But, there will be continual opportunities for companies like redbox to sneak in and meet a need that is left unmet by the “leaders.”
Netflix is one of those companies who innovate to maintain market share. For them, it’s to promote legalized movie streams through the PC and the Xbox, but not everyone necessarily has those. Everyone goes to the grocery store, though.
What are you doing in your business to take advantage of gaps in your industry?