The concept of disruption
It is important to specify, with regard to disruption and disrtuptive innovation, that:
● upstream of everything,
the concept of disruptive innovation
derives from an observation of reality,
and not an “invention” of an author
(ie it is not someone’s idea of how reality could be changed).
And above all it is necessary to specify that the concept of disruption, which Clayton M. Christensen has updated in a particularly intelligent way, has been known for centuries.
the disruption is simply
THAT PERIODICALLY INTEREST HUMAN CIVILIZATIONS.
Revolutions that bring about radical changes that subvert social structures (the status quo).
● the concept of disruptive innovation is in fact “negative” in itself.
But Clayton M. Christensen wanted to specify how this feature of the concept is accidental: “In retrospect, I made a poor choice when I used“ disruption ”<see A mistake: the negative interpretation of the term Disruption°>
In fact disruption means problem; trouble in continuing to develop ongoing processes.
While Disruptive innovation indicates an innovation that brings to the Society (in the life of the Customers) a radical improvement in the quality of life.
But if the phenomenon is considered from the point of view of who reached consolidated position on the Market, it actually appears as a problem: as a subversion of the established order. In the same way as could the French Revolution appear to the Aristocracy, or the Industrial Revolution to the Craft.
But from the social point of view (of the Customers, of the Citizens) the result of the disruption is, in fact, mostly highly positive.
The negativity or positivity of disruptive innovation therefore depends on points of view.
the Disruption is in itself a neutral concept,
which simply indicates a change, as can be that of the local climate that brings rain: it can be an advantage for the farmer and a problem for the tourist.
The fact is that any form of disruption becomes a disadvantage for those anchored to the old paradigm of the Market (whoever fails to adapt to changes sooner or later fails); and an advantage for those who have new ideas to meet the needs of the customers in a better way than the products of the big companies do today.
The two current forms of innovation
It is also important to understand how two different forms of innovation are developing in the current context of disruption:
● disruptive innovation: the only form capable of bringing a new generation of products in actual harmony with the new Demand (the disruptiion that in this historical phase is investing our Civilization produces radical changes that induce new needs in people).
The current market crisis derives from the fact that most companies in recent decades are no longer able to interpret the demand). <
● fake innovation the innovation today officially developed by the Market – and illustrated in the Media – does not go in the direction of a development of really useful qualities for Customers.
It is in fact an innovation that does nothing but seek to make desiderable products intrinsically lacking in quality actually useful for the Customer.
The Market in recent decades has developed a generation of products for which the Market (a) thanks to sophisticated psychological strategies, has invented the artificial needs of the Customers, managing to “induce” them to buy products of little or no utility; (b) has developed strategies to force customers to change products frequently, such as planned obsolescence. <see The problems of the current Market strategies: toward a crowd participated Marketing>
The development of a “anti-disrutpive innovation” negationist culture in support of the status quo
Naturally there is a strong interest in defending the status quo of the market (the Market strategies of the big players).
A literature was born that tries to refute the need to develop effective disruptive innovation.
But these are theories that are unrelated to reality: disruption, in fact, is not the theory invented by someone, but merely the description of a change taking place in Western civilization (a change that produces tangible consequences, illustrated daily by news channels ).
To question the existence of the disruption that the market is currently investing, supporters of the status quo must resort to an ideological dimension, or to a dimension of abstract ideas.
The Disruption Machine (NewYorker, June 23, 2014) by Jill Lepore, in which the author identifies the Disruptive innovation with “the rhetoric of disruption – a language of panic, fear, asymmetry, and disorder “; and as “competitive strategy for an age seized by terror.”
This current of thought that attempts to deny the need for disruptive innovation (to deny the existence of a disruption phenomenon) serves only
● to justify the strategies of the big players of the market (and the cohort of consultants, pundits, event organizers, etc …). In this way the “institutional” Market, in collaboration with the Government, is able to buffer the effects of the crisis (supporting companies that develop fake innovation with public funding, and with new protectionist laws – see the cases of Airbnb, Uber, etc …).
● to make books sell by those who are not aware of the phenomenon of disruption (and could not write anything about the real innovation that is developing on the market), relying on what most market operators want to hear (reassuring words against of a change that seems to bring their business to bankruptcy).
the concept of disruptive innovation and the real world
Beyond all the possible dissertations on the disruption of disruptive innovation – we can note that today:
● there are those who do not talk about these concepts, but develop a real innovation: they are the successful Start Up, created by young entrepreneurs able to intuit the new Demand °.
● the big players, who develop outdated strategies (“fake innovation”), are forced to try to survive thanks to financial maneuvers and support from governments.
Although things are really bad for them, they do not seem to understand that we have arrived at a Breaking Point of Market development. And therefore they are not at all interested in understanding why their way of innovating does not work.