I have always liked the concept of disruptive technologies – technological advances that change the way things work in a drastic way. The effect of disruptive technologies is to break the “rules” by which business operates. A company may be producing a product, marketing and selling it successfully. They can continue to develop that product enthusiastically and competently. Then, one day, someone develops a new technology that complete revolutionizes the market in which they operated and they eat their lunch.
An example is computer mass storage devices. At the high level, these progressed from cards and paper tape, to drums and magnetic tape, to magnetic disks, and now we have solid state drives [SSDs]. Within this progress, the dominant manufacturers of hard drives changed several times, as different technologies were developed. Consumers are often blissfully unaware of huge changes resulting from disruptive technologies, but, in other cases, they are affected very tangibly … Read the rest of this entry »