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Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson On Disruption: "You Can't Stop What People Ultimately Want To Have Happen"

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My Nokia end is near as I face the final handset

New York’s Internet Week featured a panel discussion with Union Square’s Fred Wilson, Hunch’s Chris Dixon and SV Angel’s David Lee. We took a camera to the event and have been posting excerpts all week. In this outtake – the three dive into a discussion about disruption.

Dixon teed up the conversation by talking about areas he considered ripe for disruption: Education, finance and government—saying government incumbents and lobbyists hinder development and have no real reason to push for change. Lee took the mic and tossed healthcare into the mix before wrapping by saying “there is a lot of inefficiencies in those systems … and we think that … anytime there is that type of inefficiency there is an opportunity.”

Batting third, Wilson claimed that “politics and government have been a terrible place to invest, education has been a terrible place to invest but that is because the entrenched interests make it a terrible place to invest. The way you invest in those sectors is you go against the entrenched interests, you try and disrupt the entrenched interests, not to service them.”

Wilson highlighted Sal Khan who created more than 2,000 free online classes through his Khan Academy and noted that “the vast majority of people who are on Khan Academy are not in the United States.”  Saying “if you really want to see how the world is changing go to Sub-Saharan Africa or go to Southeast Asia or go to Eastern Europe and parts of the world that have not had things that we take for granted and look at how they are using the internet to get access to those things and I think that is where you see the big game changing things are going to happen.”

The three go on to discuss disruption in the TV, hotel (Airbnb) and music industries with Wilson noting “you can’t stop what people ultimately want to have happen.”