Disruptive Innovation or Technology – does your business have one coming?

There are lots of examples of disruptive technologies and or innovations which have changed the shape of a market.  I have previously cited the music industry as a classic example of ongoing disruptive innovations.  But there are lots more.

For example:

  • airplane travel disrupting sea travel
  • skype disrupting traditional telcos
  • transistors disrupting vacuum tubes
  • flat screens disrupting traditional TVs
  • digital cameras disrupting film
  • on line books disrupting paper books
  • video on demand disrupting video rental
  • and I am sure you can think of lots more?

The issue is how could you anticipate these changes?  Well most of these occured on the back of some major change in the environment such as new technology break throughs or technology changes which allowed a change in customer service delivery.

So when you are developing your own strategic plans it is wise to look beyond your current environment and ask a lot of what if questions.

What if:

  • superconductors become commercialised
  • computers are built on atom processing rather than electrons
  • buyers demand green credentials from suppliers
  • ????

The only certainty is that there is a major disruption somewhere on the horizon.  The trick is to see if we can see it coming before it is too late for us to catch the wave.

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