Autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, value-chain disruption and podcasts. We had a phenomenally entertaining and mind-expanding episode of DisrupTV recently. Here’s the quick takeaways.

Technology Disruptions Taking Over Markets

We caught up with Tasha Keeney, analyst at ARK Invest, to discuss the major headways in autonomous vehicles. There’s substantial cost savings and value promise for these types of taxis, semi-truck long-distance shipping and daily driving without an actual person at the wheel. While we are still a few years off, the work in place to get this going shows the reality will be here before we know it.

Keeney also shared some of her takeaways from her recent interview with Elon Musk, noting that they are three years ahead of the competition, especially for efficiency, battery production and autonomous hardware and data! The traditional automaker industry needs to step up its game by making major business model changes, or it’s predicted that those brands will be out of business with where the market is headed.

She also drove the conversation into what’s happening in 3D printing. While the consumer side has been somewhat disappointing, there are big advancements happening in healthcare and aerospace. Eyewear is a great example. There’s a program where you pick a design, and it will scan your face, tweak it to fit your face, and print it! Talk about true customization and instant gratification. This is just one example, but the opportunities are endless.

Disrupting the Value Chain by Chipping Away at the Competition  

The show switched gears just a bit and caught up with Thales Teixeira, Author & Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, where he discussed findings from his book, titled “Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption.”  

The true disruptors aren’t the companies that come out with a similar, slightly better product. The ones that don’t try to copy but look at a missing piece, the inefficiencies, or some small weak aspect of the value chain from that big giant is key.

Let’s look at an example. How do you traditionally buy beauty products? You go into a store, like Sephora, look at all the different products, test them out, ask questions at the store, and then purchase a product. If you like it, you will go back and buy it again. Along the way, there are usually hiccups though, explained Thales. There’s no parking close at the store, customer service agent is rude, out of the product you want, dissatisfaction when you get home and then having to go back to get more...

The true disruptors are chipping away at certain aspects of the buying process and making that piece exemplary. Want samples but hate crowds? Have them ordered to your house! Already love a product, sign up for subscription and avoid the lines. Thinking differently at ways to build an offering is how to make a big dent and impact.

Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, and Podcasts

Well, that changed lanes quickly! The show closed out with an interview with Dr. Janice Presser, Founder & CTO at She shared what’s happening with the "podcast revolution." Podcasts are broadcasted out in a one-way communication. They share interesting topics but aren’t necessarily getting millions of live viewers. We are in the middle of this challenge. How do you speed around the weak piece in the value chain? The true disruption and game-changer will be real engagement. We are team oriented and being able to engage in the conversation during and even after the podcast is completed will truly change the game.

This is just a high-level take on the great advice shared during the show. Please check out the full discussions in the video replay here or the podcast.

Tune in every week for DisrupTV, hosted by Vala Afshar and R “Ray” Wang, on Fridays 11 AM PT/2 PM ET. Drive (or let your car do it) straight toward the end goal and don’t let the pot holes slow you down.