Beyond Disruptive Innovation
Leigh Buchanan, an editor for Inc. magazine, writes that “disruptive innovation” has been disrupted by “big bang disruption.”
Disruptive innovation involves improving a product and service in a way that the market doesn’t expect. It means serving a customer segment that the big players in the industry figure isn’t worth their time. The disruptive innovator designs for a different set of consumers in the new market, begins to gain some leverage, and then later captures market share from the bottom up.
The Big Bang Disruptors, on the other hand, appear and capture all the market segments overnight. Leigh offers as an example GPS system. In the past, companies like TomTom and Garmin believed their competitors where each other. They were blindsided when free navigation applications were on every smartphone.
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Disruptive innovation has been disrupted. The new threat to status-huggers is “big bang disruption,” in which players not even in your market whip from their sleeves products that are both cheaper and better than existing ones. These innovations–mobile devices, in particular–are also better integrated with other products and services. So instead of starting in an underserved consumer segment and working up from there–as Clay Christensen described in The Innovator’s Dilemma–big bangs seemingly appear overnight, and all segments snatch them up at once. Consider standalone GPS systems. Companies like Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom thought they were competing with each other, until free, high-quality navigation apps began turning up, preloaded, on every...