An Abundance of Choices

In this post, I’ll discuss why consumers’ increasing access to virtual reality experiences in coming years is likely to lead to a much tougher competitive environment for many businesses.

To begin with, let’s consider the hypothetical owner of a beachside resort.  This resort owner doesn’t see virtual reality technologies as a big deal today, because being able to walk on a beach and swim up to a pool bar aren’t close to being replicated in virtual reality environments yet.

Instead of thinking about things this way, however, the resort owner should be wondering, “How soon will my customer base have access to virtual reality experiences that are so compelling that they prefer them over coming to my resort?” [1]  This question shows that the resort may face serious competition from virtual reality experiences long before a vacation there can be completely replicated!

As a giant wave of competition from virtual reality experiences begins to materialize over the next few years, many real world businesses will likely react by A) offering virtual reality experiences of their own, B) adding augmented reality features to the real world experiences they offer or C) reducing their prices to stay competitive.

As I’ll discuss below, all of these methods are going to reinforce the effects of the virtual reality spiral [2], a process that is likely to result in many existing jobs, activities and business models going obsolete.

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