Physical to Digital in Laggard Industries

I had a great conversation today with a founder who brought something to my attention. He said that in certain industries, a significant amount of information, communication, etc. still moves between people in the physical world. He gave me examples of many government offices and other entities still relying heavily on the postal system to communicate with their customers and constituents. I’m a digital-first person, so I hadn’t thought much about this.

Lots of things shifted from physical first to digital first in people’s personal lives in the last 24 months. People ordered pretty much everything online and even learned to accept virtual meetings. But there are still industries that haven’t made this change. Physical interaction or physically exchanging information, or both, are core to their operations. These laggard industries are likely at a point now where they realize they too must make this change (or adopt a hybrid approach). Many would never have considered this before because they simply didn’t have to. Their customers and counterparts didn’t expect it. That’s changed now.

Laggard industries aren’t sexy, but they’re a great opportunity. Entrepreneurs who understand the nuances of these industries and can build digital or hybrid solutions can create massive value for these customers and build large businesses doing so.