Explanation of the term
A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.
Opposite type of innovation
In contrast to disruptive innovation, a sustaining innovation does not create new markets or value networks but rather ...view middle of the document...
He describes the term further in his book The Innovator's Dilemma. In his sequel with Michael E Raynor, The Innovator's Solution, Christensen replaced the term disruptive technology with disruptive innovation because he recognized that few technologies are intrinsically disruptive or sustaining in character; rather, it is the business model that the technology enables that creates the disruptive impact. The concept of disruptive technology continues a long tradition of the identification of radical technical change in the study of innovation by economists, and the development of tools for its management at a firm or policy level.
More about the term
Christensen defines a disruptive innovation as a product or service designed for a new set of customers.
Christensen argues that disruptive innovations can hurt successful, well managed companies that are responsive to their customers and have excellent research and development. These companies tend to ignore the markets most susceptible to disruptive innovations, because the markets have very tight profit margins and are too small to provide a good growth rate to an established (sizable) firm
While Christensen argued that disruptive innovations can hurt successful, well managed companies, O’Ryan countered that “constructive” integration of existing, new, and forward thinking innovation could improve the economic benefits of these same well managed...