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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Disrupt is Simply a Word

Disrupt has become some a marketing buzzword lately that everyone wants to be seen as being as successful  is using it.  Yet, when the major disk drive manufacturers decided not to enter into the smaller, cheaper, less capable drive market, and other companies entered those spaces, did they do so touting disruption?  No, they just did it.  They didn't ask for permission, didn't need government assistance, they just walked in.

Now everyone wants to be seen as being as successful those cheap storage makers of days gone by.  But few note that those same storage makers were displaced by yet another lower end, and are now being replaced yet again by solid-state storage. Few of those companies that were so disruptive were smart enough to stay through the next cycle.

So, the next time someone tells you that they've got the next market disrupting model, ask them these two questions:

1.  What market need have you anticipated that nobody else has.
2.  What should I do about it?  

If the answer to question #1 doesn't make the answer to question #2 obvious, then what you might have in front of you is simply someone who has spent too much time in airport bookstores, and not enough in basements, garages or back rooms looking for solutions to real problems.

The best evaluation of disruptive innovation is in its aftermath.


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