Disruption is a word often used wrongly, and almost always used in some derogatory fashion. It's like a Bond villain, who is up to no good. He's loosening double-oh-seven's ski boots, so he'll ski to a horrible death, or other such things (which to me seems odd, because most villains have guns and could just shoot him, but I digress).
Regardless, disruption is not a bad thing. It usually ends up being a good thing. For consumers, and the future of a business.
Innovation and disruption was first spoken about by a smart Harvard fella, who wrote a book called the "Innovator's Dilemma". There are innovations that are soft (he called them "sustainable" innovations). These tweak the current landscape, and look for incremental improvements of a product. "StatsLens" by Equibase, as Crunk notes, is this type of innovation. There are others which are disruptive, which can open new markets, and use them to your advantage.
Modernizing horse racing data - creating a seamless pipeline of inputs and working to sell, or distribute, those outputs - is a chance to open new markets, and sell to them.
People lament that horse racing is old, that you need to sit for hours to find a bet, reading a paper racing form your
Me or you might use this data to model stride length, speed, wind and other factors to create better speed figures. We could use that to model energy distribution. There's no doubt we could do some amazing stuff with that.
Now, with these stats, let's say we find out that they can predict winners, while the race is being run. We are not the only ones. Some whiz kids somewhere found out similar. Now, what if demand for in-running wagering increases exponentially because of this data?
Well, this data was just thrown out into the landscape. It was inert. It wasn't created to service an existing product.
What if, in 25 years, this data spawns a new way to play the Derby or other races. What if millions are bet on the Derby yes, but hundreds of millions are traded during the race itself? That's a whole new market and a new revenue stream for horse racing, created simply by making new, cutting edge data available.
This inert data - the data not created to service an existing product - actually created a new product.
The above is just an example, that probably will never happen, nor work, but the point I am trying to make is, good ideas, growth for an industry, new markets, and new products, rarely come from the business itself, or what we know in the here and now. This is probably exacerbated in horse racing, because so many are monopolies or duopolies.
New ideas, new products and new innovations occur because a table is set for the marketplace to innovate and find new markets and products.
Modernizing horse racing data might seem like nothing to some - especially those who like to sit outside on a sunny day reading the racing form. But it means a lot. It can find, create and exploit new markets, no matter how old your business or betting game is.