Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll have heard of the term ‘innovation disruption’ or ‘disruptive innovation.
But do you really know what it means, and more importantly, is it worth chasing?
Disruptive innovation theory is complex and confusing, so almost everyone makes up their own definition and loosely calls anything that creates a disruption in an industry a disruptive innovation.
And when it comes to disruptive innovation companies, most of us would label a company such as Uber as a great example of disruptive innovation.
But according to the academic definition, Uber doesn't tick the boxes!
What the heck?
The basic definition of disruptive innovation is when a small company or start-up focuses on one or a few select customer needs or desires that have been ignored by a big company.
The disruptor then provides a better solution for the overlooked areas and usually does it at a lower price.
The disruptor then starts to branch out and cover more of the complete service that the big company was offering while addressing the previously ignored customer needs.
When the big company finally cottons on and takes the disruptor seriously, and adopts the disruptor's offerings, then that's when an innovation disruption has occurred.
So let's come back to Uber.
Because the taxi industry hasn't adopted the technology that shows people where your car is and how long it will be to get to you (thereby dealing with the need and desire to see when the car will turn up) then, technically, Uber is not an innovation disruptor.
Which makes you think something's wrong with the definition of innovation disruption, and it needs changing.
I've got a better idea. Just ditch it.
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