Kids Don't Care About Cars


Bob Lefsetz:

Just because cars have lasted a century, that does not mean they’re here to stay, that does not mean they’re not ripe for disruption. Cars are the newspapers of today. Something oldsters can’t live without and youngsters can.

The basic premise is you’ve got to go. How you get there is irrelevant. Furthermore, the costs of car ownership…the insurance and the gas, never mind the maintenance, none of them appeal to a youngster who believes all costs should be baked in.

A common mistake is thinking that just because something has been around for a long time, it’s impervious to disruption. If anything, the long incumbency makes it more ripe for disruption. Everything — everything — eventually gets disrupted. 

(And yes, I now hate using the word “disruption” as much as everyone else because it has basically been neutered of meaning and turned into pure marketing. But it’s simply the best term here.)

A long incumbency actually makes things less likely to be disrupted. Cars(1886) are relatively young as far as transportation goes. Bicycles(1817) are older and still going strong. Razor scooters(1999) have mostly died out already. Walking(4 million BC) won’t be disrupted anytime soon.  If something has been around a long time it indicates some robustness.  The move away from cars is aligned with people’s current preference of access over ownership. See Spotify dominating iTunes, Netflix dominating DVDs, and Uber beginning to disrupt cars.  I look forward to getting rid of my car and ubering everywhere in the future.