In 1997 Clayton Christiansen’s book “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” discussed that due to the velocity of history and technology, companies would make mistakes because they were focused on a very specific customer base and would miss new opportunities. The term he coined was called “disruptive innovation.” If you want to learn more about the disruptive innovation theory, you can read this New Yorker article, The Disruption Machine, but be aware that the author ultimately paints it in a negative light. As it turns out, here is a Bloomberg Businessweek article discussing Clayton’s response to the negative one.
Disruption is a trend that now has massive momentum across our whole Corporate and technology landscape. Our educational system is even starting to release courses that talk specifically about this and have degrees tied to it. Everywhere you look it is a common business practice for people to find ways to turn existing business models upside down. We see things like AirBNB, SideCar, Zopa, Zipcar, Kiva, and other disruptive technology, which are ultimately part of the new shared economy model. A lot of people have lost jobs because of disruptions and it is a scary thing. So, whether you agree with what is happening or if it is a good thing or not — you must accept that it is here to stay. Most of the world still has a viewpoint of following the sustaining innovation model, but as disruption affects every industry, it is only a matter of time before everyone will be affected.
As with anything, it starts to turn into a bubble because so many people jump on it especially if there is money to be made from it. They believe it is the solution to the problem that they are experiencing. What most fail to understand is the underlying reason of why this all is happening. Disruption and the shared economy is a democratization force being delivered to us through nature’s power. It is one of the ways that the Universe uses to force change to happen and to keep things from becoming stagnant. Basically, you could say it is evolution in its truest form, but we are seeing it played out on a global level and in a much more dramatic fashion. Evolution usually took millions of years to make a difference, but now it is able to affect humanity in a decade.
The Internet was one of the first things that started this disruption craze. It was our entry point into a global connection that broke through political and geography based boundaries. It is the great equalizer that gives people access to so many more things than they had before. It is truly an empowerment vehicle and because of that we have been set on a path that we cannot go back from. More and more we will see that the world starts to identify itself as one community because of all the different connections and disruptions that are happening. We will start to understand that through all this change there is always one thing that is constant — us and common good will toward each other. Companies and governments will be forced to acknowledge that they need to look at things differently and stop trying to control everything as they do now.
On an evolutionary level we are no longer just seeing things happen through divergent evolution. Instead new things are also being created through disruption innovation because it gives us the ability to show nature’s core theme – more life to all. Just like you saw in some Darwinian tale about the evolution model of humanity or some fish, us humans are starting to create more and more so that we can test out what works and what doesn’t. And like with anything across nature, if you don’t feed the greater good and give more life to all of nature – you cease to exist.
So through this disruption those people, companies, governments, and even societies that refuse to rethink and change how they interact with the world in this moment of time will find themselves facing severe pressure and ability to survive going forward. Those that do create anew and provide for all, will find that things become easier for them and that they will be more successful without having to try too hard.
So I ask you, are you willing to embrace disruption so that you can evolve or do you wish to become extinct?