Disruptive technology is technology that can significantly improve a product or a service in a way that the market does not expect. Disruptive technology is radical breakthrough advances. Often times, disruptive technology brings to the market advanced products at a significantly low cost.
Disruptive technology can be roughly classified into two types: low-end disruptive technology and new-market disruptive technology.
Some technological innovations have not been around for enough time to say whether they belong to disruptive innovations or not. The examples include ebooks vs paper books and VoIP vs mobile phone (wikipedia.org).History
The term “disruptive technology” was first introduced by Clayton M. Christensen in 1995 in his article Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave in Harvard Business Review. In 1997, he published a book The Innovator’s Dilemma in which he explains his theory of disruptive technology in great detail. Later, Christensen replaced the term “disruptive technology” with the term “disruptive innovation”. The main reason for this substitution is that very few technologies can be disruptive in nature. What makes the impact of a technological breakthrough disruptive is the way the technology is applied in business and what capabilities it creates (wikipedia.org). Disruptive technology vs Sustaining technology
Christensen contrasts disruptive technology and sustaining technology. While disruptive technology can produce an effect of a bomb (sudden, tremendous, and radical change), sustaining technology does not significantly affect the market. Sustaining technology can be subdivided into two categories:
The first feature of disruptive technologies is that often times they do not enter the market with great success. Actually, often times companies-innovators can see the performance of the company decline before reaping the fruits of the innovation.
Another problem with disruptive technologies is that they are rarely seen as worthwhile opportunities by big established companies. Big corporations are much more comfortable with sustaining technologies, keeping the share of the market and doing business as usual. That’s why it is small companies who usually come up with an innovation to disrupt the market (economist.com).
Disruptive innovations of 2009
T The world is currently facing a serious economic crisis, but there is always place for innovation and technological advancement. According to the CEO of Forward Innovations, there are several major trends that will drive innovation in 2009.