Disruption is a reality confronting businesses across the economic landscape. Since the theory of disruptive innovation was first introduced by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, it has proven to be a useful framework for examining the radical changes that industries undergo as emerging technologies and business models upend the status quo set by successful, established companies.
Before diving into some of the disruptive technologies at play in the world today, it’s important to first understand what disruption is and how it happens.
WHAT IS DISRUPTION?
“‘Disruption’ describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses,” writes Christensen in the Harvard Business Review. According to Christensen, who teaches the online course Disruptive Strategy, this happens as companies focus on improving their products and services for their most demanding, profitable customers, leading them to neglect segments at the low end of the market.
This opens the door for new entrants, such as startups, to target the overlooked customers and meet their needs at a lower price point—or create a market where none existed. From there, the newcomers improve their offerings and build on their successes, eventually…
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