Is It Possible To Change An Industry From The Bottom Up?

Is It Possible To Change An Industry From The Bottom Up?

The most interesting and optimistic feature of any industry is that it changes. No, it
must change if it hopes to develop in the future. We’re seeing this happen with certain timeless sectors, such as how many of the main car manufacturers are rolling out EV models, and understanding that electricity and renewable energy sources are the future of conscious consumerism.

So - what if you hope to change an industry? Well, you wouldn’t be the first. Moreover, you wouldn’t be the first one to succeed. History has shown that with tenacity, focus, and vision, you can move mountains. While you may change your approach over the years as you learn and develop, it’s important to consider a few qualifiers that make success more likely.

With that in mind, let’s consider a guide for changing an industry from the bottom up:

What Outcomes Are Important To You?

It’s important to remember that change in the industry doesn’t always mean complete and total overhauls. If you hope to build a wall, after all, you need to do it brick by brick, while trying to lay each piece as perfectly as you can. This takes time and diligence.

So, what kind of wall are you hoping to build? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your particular specialism in the tech field is woefully missing women colleagues. For this reason, you might run coding camps to help women become inspired by this particular category and help them apply for jobs in that field. You might even launch your own business, and through that platform, champion gender diversity.

This is an important task, but hardly the only path you might take. It’s good to focus on one objective at a time and let the momentum of one come with you. When you focus on a singular outcome, you can implement the work necessary to see the best outcome and inspire the most people. That in itself can be a worthy effort that truly does help the people around you feel connected to your cause.

What Hard Data & Statistics Are You Working With?

Of course, it’s important to be inspired and focus on the future of your vision with clarity. But that clarity can’t come without practice and insight, the same way that you might hope to sail a boat, but without nautical practice are only putting yourself in danger.

So, it’s important to research diligently the hard data behind what it is you hope to change. For example, perhaps you’re frustrated that an industry isn’t lessening its use of plastic to achieve its environmental aims. 

You might start out wondering why that is and hoping to change it. But without understanding the full operational process, how exactly that plastic is used, what happens to it afterward, and where improvements can be made, it’s very easy for a catch-all solution to cause problems. 

Perhaps plastic is the most robust and safest material to use for a particular receptacle, and switching to eco materials might be a lot more expensive and limit natural shelf life. Sure, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story either. It will help you think of a more creative solution, but with the problem fully considered from start to finish instead of altered out of idealism.

Learn The Rules To Break Them

When we think of the most famous creative thinkers of all time, from Da Vinci to Mozart, one thing is common - they had to learn the rules of their art before they could bend and break them in search of something new.

For example, Mozart had to learn the musical scales much like any other composer before he could bring about classics that stand timeless to this day. Da Vinci had to learn perspective in order to paint his masterworks. For this reason, if you hope to subvert business practice, you have to understand it, and not accept easy solutions or assumptions.

This means if you hope to shape an industry, you need to know how it works. When Uber broke out onto the scene, you can bet that they had a full understanding of how GPS technology worked, how reliable it could be, to what extent they could use this to improve rider safety, and how to digitize cashless payments.

Arguably, changing your industry is a call to think through subversive means, but you have to understand what to subvert to begin those changes. For example, with a commercial contractor glossary, you can understand every element of parallel industry practice to make sure your own modest enterprise understands its place in the larger picture. From there, you can curate a better tomorrow.

Hold Faith In Your Idea

Unfortunately, it’s a common tale that anyone who thinks differently to others is mocked, laughed at, ignored or derided. This is a common story and one that we even learn in childhood, perhaps even through the story of Rudolph the Reindeer, who had a hard time with his peers until Santa asked him to light the way with his red nose.

In a proverbial sense, that may be the story of your own firm. History is filled with examples of plucky, small businesses rising up thanks to an innovative approach and a willingness to try something new and daring. Even large companies have to go through this process.

So - have faith in your idea. Work on it, and use our aforementioned data to ground every one of your assumptions. Set challenges, run focus groups, take surveys, and make certain that you experiment in small quantities that are affordable and necessary. Depending on the kind of business you run, you may have to take on contract work while you work on the mainline experimental idea in the background. Over time, you may attract investment, or curate a niche market that follows and sustains you for some time. Stick to your guns, and it will happen.

Using these principles, we hope you can more easily change an industry from the bottom up. We may need your contribution more than you could ever realize!

Back to blog