Disruption the new Innovation?
Not that long ago every tech startup claimed to be innovative. Today they are disruptive, a term used so liberally and frequently that its true business meaning and origins have become lost. Let's face it, how many entrepreneurs and business leaders really know the difference between innovation and disruption?
“True disruption comes when you fundamentally change a market, a business model, or a way of doing things and, ideally, make a significant impact on humanity,” says Sarah Kerruish, chief strategy and growth officer at digital healthcare platform TrialReach “The block-chain is poised to do this with finance, while education is being transformed by digital connectivity. But another new ad platform, in spite of its cool, new features, is not disruptive.”
Others define disruption as the sum of many innovations that, once combined, provide a credible alternative to an existing way of doing things that creates a disruption in the market.
“If you look at companies that are widely accepted as being highly disruptive, Uber and Airbnb, for example, they have focused on making everyday actions more convenient and, in so doing, have ultimately disrupted the status quo irreversibly,” says Guillaume Pousaz, founder of fintech Checkout.com.
Disruptive innovation is a high stakes game, with high risk and potentially high rewards. It's also very difficult to spot the winning disruptive opportunities, especially when disruptive ideas require other players in the ecosystem to acknowledge and embrace the change. A valuable technique is to think in terms of disruptive platforms that can be applied to more than one market or application area, says AJ van Bochoven, head of innovation strategy at Cambridge Consultants.