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  • Writer's pictureJoe Nigro

Defensibility of Self-Service


The self-service industry has become an integral part of our daily lives. From gas stations and vending machines to car washes and kiosks, self-service technology has been around for decades and continues to evolve with advancements in technology. Despite the emergence of new technologies, it is unlikely that the self-service industry will be disrupted. In this article, we will examine three industries - car wash, vending machines, and gas stations - to understand why the self-service industry is here to stay.


The car wash industry is a great example of the durability of the self-service model. Self-service car washes have been around since the 1940s, and they are still popular today. While the industry has evolved with touchless car washes and other advanced features, the basic self-service model has remained the same. Self-service car washes allow customers to wash their cars at their own pace, without the need for a professional car wash service. This convenience is unlikely to be replaced by a new technology or business model.


Similarly, vending machines have been around since the 1880s and have remained popular due to their convenience. Vending machines provide quick and easy access to a variety of products, from snacks and drinks to electronics and beauty products. While online shopping has disrupted some aspects of the retail industry, it is unlikely to replace the convenience of vending machines. Vending machines are often found in high-traffic areas such as airports, hospitals, and schools, making them a reliable and accessible option for customers.


Gas stations are another example of a self-service industry that has stood the test of time. The first self-service gas station opened in 1947, and today, most gas stations operate on a self-service model. While full-service gas stations still exist, they are increasingly rare. The convenience of self-service gas stations allows customers to fill up their cars quickly and efficiently. The emergence of electric cars may disrupt the traditional gas station industry, but self-service charging stations will likely replace traditional gas stations.


The durability of the self-service industry is due to the convenience and efficiency it provides. Self-service technology allows customers to access products and services quickly and easily, without the need for human assistance. While new technologies will continue to emerge, they are unlikely to replace the convenience and reliability of the self-service model.


In conclusion, the self-service industry is here to stay. The car wash, vending machine, and gas station industries are examples of how the self-service model has remained durable over time. While new technologies may emerge, they are unlikely to disrupt the convenience and reliability of the self-service model. The self-service industry will continue to evolve with advancements in technology, but the basic principles of convenience and efficiency will remain the same.

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