The one with the cover story of eBay buying Skype, the VOIP company, who's founders started and sold KaZaa, the scourge of the music industry. Using the same business model of peer to peer networking as before - "Skype's founders developed software that allows people to make free calls to other Skype users over the internet, and very cheap calls to traditional telephones--all of which spells trouble for incumbent telecoms operators" laments the Economist. It is rumored that in the running for Skype along with eBay were: Microsoft, Yahoo!, News Corporation and Google. Who is missing from this list?
Where were Bell Canada's, British Telecom's? Nokia's, Vodafone's or Swisscom's of the world?
I've always wondered by the traditional incumbents themselves don't buy out these potentially disruptive upstarts. Are they paralyzed with fear? Or is it just so hard to cannibalize your own traditional business lines if you now own a competing disruptive technology? Or do the incumbents just see it too late in the process?
The Economist defines disruptive innovation or technology as follows:
The term "disruptive technology" is popular, but is widely misused. It refers not simply to a clever [I assume they mean smart] new technology, but to one that undermines an existing technology--and which therefore makes life very difficult for the many businesses which depend on the existing way of doing things."
A term originally coined in book The Innovator's Dilemma, disruptive technology (or what Clayton Christensen later renamed "disruptive innovation" and "creative destruction ") is becoming increasingly common.
In a story in Canada's National Post newspaper recently, Clark Gilbert, assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, ponders.
"Why do great companies that once dominated, and led an industry, miss out on innovation or even disappear and fail?" "When the telephone overtook the telegraph, Western Union didn't invest in telephone companies. And when the cellphone overtook traditional phones, AT and T did not invest in the cellular phone business at first,"
I have no doubt, in fact, I predict that a number of smart disruptive technologies will overtake their dumber cousins, as they grow and mature.
It will be interesting to see if they mature on their own or if they get bought out and by whom.
Over time, I wonder if the term smart technology and disruptive technology will become synonymous?
So...What new disruptive smart technologies are lurking on your business horizon?
Our regular blog readers will recognize a few recent posts- vaccines are being challenged by siRNA nanotechnology that silences the SN1 gene; antibiotics by Quorum Sensing Blockers and probiotics; Cows are even being challenged by cultured meat, as we saw in Saturday's post.
......and this just in, as I'm typing:
In the current Nov 1st issue of PloS Medicine, Valeriya Lyssenko and colleagues from Lund University, found that variants in the PPARG and CAPN10 genes can help predict whether a person will develop Type 2 diabetes, particularly in individuals with other risk factors.
No doubt in time, when researchers develop a test for variants in these two gene markers and parents start to routinely test their children for Type 2 diabetes risk, watch sales of any sugar-loaded products -(soda pop, candy, ice cream, cookies and breakfast cereals etc)- begin to tumble.
Let us know your candidates for smart disruptive innovations in your business backyard.
Expert, Consultant and Guest Speaker on emerging Smart Technologies, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Lateral Creative Thinking and author of an upcoming book on the Smart Economy "
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