138 Items Replaced By Smart Phones (and Apps)

Yes, you use your smart phone more than your home phone, in many cases renters in major cities never even bother to get a land line. Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw a pay phone, or a fax machine, or a check book? Yes, digital has replaced a laundry list of products, services even relegating many to the dust heap of history – think Sony WalkMan.

At a recent conference one of the keynote speakers conducted a group survey: could you name 26 items that you can now find or use on your smart phone. Here’s the catch, the list must include an item from each letter of the alphabet (A to Z). Teams were formed around tables and given 5 minutes to complete the project. Out of about 15 teams two or three were able to complete the task (and in some cases, upon closer scrutiny to their lists, were eliminated).

So with more time, and more than a little help from Google, I came up with over 120; including examples ranging from A to Z. It was an interesting exercise as a few other categories popped up that might not be ‘things’. They represented major categories such as professionals – think travel agents, hotel concierge, money managers and even match makers as well as places. Digital (in this example, Amazon) all but killed the independent book store (and a few chains). Who goes to the library anymore? Post Office? Auction Houses (thanks eBay)? Don’t have the coin to book time in a recording studio? No problem, fire up the Garage Band or stream it live on YouTube or Periscope.

While technology has certainly crushed more than a few categories, it has also opened up opportunities that might have seemed like science fiction – how about taking an X-Ray with your phone? Yes, there is an app for that (and you now have an X example). It has helped many small business owners such as food trucks, retailers and specialty shops create dynamic new products and services – a few in particular, such as Uber, Air B&B, and Lyft are revolutionizing entire industries.

So, now you have an X and a U to start with. Your five minutes begin NOW!

Check out the answers here >

Let us know if there are some we might have missed. Have fun 🙂