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The Rise of Disruptive Technologies

Insight June 02, 2011

New York City – At the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference 2011, the startup Getaround beat out 32 other startups to win the Disrupt Cup, in addition to $ 50,000 and exponential media (read: investor) exposure.  Before getting into the paradigm shifting virtues of Getaround however, it would be worthwhile to explain exactly what it means to “disrupt” something in the startup context.

New York City – At the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference 2011, the startup Getaround beat out 32 other startups to win the Disrupt Cup, in addition to $ 50,000 and exponential media (read: investor) exposure.  Before getting into the paradigm shifting virtues of Getaround however, it would be worthwhile to explain exactly what it means to “disrupt” something in the startup context.

Generally, an industry will abide by certain procedures and norms, for better or for worse.  Let’s take the industry of travel and lodging, especially timely with the recent $ 1 billion dollar valuation of Airbnb.  Suppose you are the CEO of a fledgling startup, and plan to travel to San Francisco for five days to pitch angel investors.  You don’t have any friends or family in the area, so up until recently, the only option was to make a reservation at a local hotel.

Airbnb, founded in 2008 and a graduate of the prestigious Y Combinator incubator, developed a system that allowed people to list their private homes, individual rooms, lofts, and apartments on an open rental market.  With Airbnb, a consumer can easily experience greater comfort and ease of reservation for prices typically lower than a comparable hotel room would cost.  Airbnb is a new frontier in travel and lodging: personal homes as competition to hotel rooms.

So when Airbnb is said to disrupt the travel and lodging industry, it broadly means that competitive monetization occurs outside of the traditional business model, either by correcting an inefficiency in the current model, or in Airbnb’s case, capitalizing on a deficiency in the existing model.  Disruption has the power to revolutionize individual processes and entire industries, and therefore represents a significant goal for many entrepreneurs.

Back to Getaround – Getaround has created a market for personal vehicle rentals, appropriately dubbed “the Airbnb for cars.”  And similarly to Airbnb, Getaround has disrupted the formerly stable rental car market by tapping the remarkably large resource-pool of people’s personal cars.  Zipcar was the first venture that sought to disrupt the rental car market, and did so with reasonable success – but the potential of Getaround as compared to Zipcar is staggering, if not by sheer volume alone.  Getaround already boasts over 1,600 personal vehicles,  only a little over one week after its public launch; compare that to Zipcar’s 8,000 total available vehicles.  Combine that projected volume with lower overhead costs and lower rental prices, and it’s not difficult to understand why Getaround took home the Disrupt Cup.

Other notable disruptive startups include Square and Google Wallet – they both broadly seek to eliminate the cash register, and streamline the purchasing process using mobile platforms.

Last but not least, we believe that Rimon Law Group represents a disruptive method of lawyering.  The traditional law firm structure is a rigid hierarchy that has suffers from the pitfalls of many large companies – lack of communication, bureaucracy, high overhead costs, mixed priorities – except clients pay for these pitfalls at a high hourly rate.  In fact, many have surmised that the only reason such a model persists is because of the general public’s fear of legal consequences otherwise.

Rimon Law Group sculpted a new model for the delivery of legal services.  We’ve augmented the best attributes of top-tier law firms focusing only on those elements that generate value for our clients. We are not burdened with crippling expenses for extravagant real estate or saddled with paying for outmoded technology acquired in the last century.  Instead, we drew from the best practices of law firms, startups and established companies, both virtual and brick-and-mortar. We upended the traditional compensation model, choosing to base compensation on objective metrics and not on firm politics, permitting our attorneys to focus entirely on our clients.  We were also one of the first firms to move away from traditional billing, tying prices to value instead of hours worked. For more information, please contact a member at info@rimonlaw.com.