A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.
Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen coined the term disruptive technology. In his 1997 best-selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Christensen separates new technology into two categories: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technology relies on incremental improvements to an already established technology. Disruptive technology lacks refinement, often has performance problems because it is new, appeals to a limited audience and may not yet have a proven practical application. (Such was the case with Alexander Graham Bell’s “electrical speech machine,” which we now call the telephone.)
Here are a few examples of disruptive technologies:
- The personal computer (PC) displaced the typewriter and forever changed the way we work and communicate.
- The Windows operating system’s combination of affordability and a user-friendly interface was instrumental in the rapid