Unmanned automobiles, drone delivery, smart contact lenses — the pace of discovery has accelerated to the point where concepts that until recently seemed like science fiction are quickly becoming reality. While conventional innovation takes place regularly all around us, truly disruptive innovation is scarce, and it has the potential to have a much greater impact on companies, industries and the world. Disruptive innovation has the power to wipe out long-established businesses and place multi-billion dollar valuations on nimble entrants to the category … so disruptive innovation needs to be embraced.

Consider, for instance, the example of digital photography. It’s something we take for granted today, but 40 years ago we had fixed-lens cameras, film cartridges, flash bulbs and three-day processing at a local drug store. Then, upon picking up an envelope with two dozen snapshots, we’d find three grainy prints worth keeping. Today we carry cameras — and phones too — that can take high-resolution photos and record high-definition video; cameras that let us see the images instantly and share those images around the world. The growth of digital photography, and the way it has impacted the existing players in the space, is a perfect example of disruptive innovation changing an industry.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access