Validation

Let's start by taking a look at Wikipedia's description of disruptive innovation:

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances. The term was defined and phenomenon analyzed by Clayton M. Christensen beginning in 1995.[1] In the early 2000s, "significant societal impact" has also been used as an aspect of disruptive innovation.[2]

Not all innovations are disruptive, even if they are revolutionary. For example, the first automobiles in the late 19th century were not a disruptive innovation, because early automobiles were expensive luxury items that did not disrupt the market for horse-drawn vehicles. The market for transportation essentially remained intact until the debut of the lower-priced Ford Model T in 1908. The mass-produced automobile was a disruptive innovation, because it changed the transportation market, whereas the first thirty years of automobiles did not.

Disruptive innovations tend to be produced by outsiders and entrepreneurs, rather than existing market-leading companies. The business environment of market leaders does not allow them to pursue disruptive innovations when they first arise, because they are not profitable enough at first and because their development can take scarce resources away from sustaining innovations (which are needed to compete against current competition).[3] A disruptive process can take longer to develop than by the conventional approach and the risk associated to it is higher than the other more incremental or evolutionary forms of innovations, but once it is deployed in the market, it achieves a much faster penetration and higher degree of impact on the established markets.[2]

This gives us a pretty good idea about disruptive innovation: it's usually generated from outside the status quo/established companies with significant market share, it tends to displace that existing cosy setup and it can bring "significant societal impact".

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However, the modern advent of the Internet has changed quite a few traditional models, and disruptive innovation is probably one of them. Christensen says, "The business environment of market leaders does not allow them to pursue disruptive innovations when they first arise, because they are not profitable enough at first and because their development can take scarce resources away from sustaining innovations (which are needed to compete against current competition)", and "A disruptive process can take longer to develop than by the conventional approach and the risk associated to it is higher than the other more incremental or evolutionary forms of innovations...". It is obvious that these caveats no longer ring quite as true as they once did, since much faster and more comprehensive sharing of information, including marketing as well as collaborative development, mean short, cost-effective paths to innovation, with minimum investment and risk compared to significant potential rewards.[4]

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Moreover, where the market itself - the user community as well as competitors, consultants and in fact all players - is included in the innovation model, the power is in essence taken from the traditional-model legacy monoliths and distributed among the community. SciCloud.net® is based on that paradigm, so that technology and the disruptive innovations described in this book are leveraged to provide speedy, effective and meaningful innovations that drive advancement of the industry as a whole. The community generate requirements/need, contribute ideas, give feedback through out the iterative development process, perform beta testing and ultimately purchase and use the end products, in an endless upward spiral of continuous integration and innovation. This model itself may well be the most significant example of disruptive innovation.
  1. Bower, Joseph L. & Christensen, Clayton M. (1995)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Assink, Marnix (2006). "Inhibitors of disruptive innovation capability: a conceptual model". European Journal of Innovation Management 9 (2): 215–233. doi:10.1108/14601060610663587. 
  3. Christensen 1997, p. 47.
  4. "Disruptive or Disrupted?". MSM Designz Blog. http://www.msmdesignzblog.com/disruptive-or-disrupted-2. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 

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