Disruptive innovation is a term popularized by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma. It describes an innovation or invention that creates a new market and eventually disrupts an existing one. This type of disruptive technology has the potential to change the way industries function because it often introduces simplicity, convenience, accessibility, and affordability where none previously existed. For example, when digital cameras first hit the market they disrupted traditional photography businesses as consumers no longer needed to use film or develop prints; instead they could take digital photos that could be viewed on their computers or printed out at home. Disruptive innovations can also come from existing companies who are willing to completely rethink how products are made and marketed in order to make them more accessible for their customers.
The success of disruptive innovations depend on how quickly established firms recognize their importance; if they fail to react quickly enough then smaller start-ups can enter the market with better products at lower prices without having to worry about challenging large incumbent firms. However if incumbents can adjust their strategies accordingly then they may be able to keep up with changing trends and remain competitive despite being challenged by newcomers.
Innovation that changes the way that an industry or a market operates. This type of innovation can be highly profitable for the company that creates them, and devastating for their competition. An example of a disruptive innovation is the car that made horse carriages obsolete or also the internet, which changed many industries completely. The opposite of disruptive innovation is incremental innovation, which is a process of step-by-step improvement.
Related Keywords: Innovator's Dilemma, Digital Transformation, Simplicity, Convenience, Accessibility