We explain what disruptive innovation is and some of the examples that have changed our lives

Disruptive innovation isn’t the same as disruptive technology. Rather than an entirely new ‘thing’ that changes our lives or our work, disruptive innovations change markets and fields that already exist. A great example is the iPhone, which took the mobile phone industry in a completely new direction back in 2007.

To be disruptive, an innovation must shake an industry to its core and change it like nothing else before. A standard innovation can make an improvement within the industry, but if it doesn’t change it for everyone, it cannot be classed as disruptive.

It may not be truly disruptive when first unveiled, either. Sometimes it isn’t that much better than the technology it is trying to replace, and sometimes something becomes disruptive because of changes that weren’t foreseen. Video conferencing services can be seen in this way as the technology has been around for decades but wasn’t anywhere near as popular until the onset of the COVID pandemic. Now, the majority of the population uses Zoom or Microsoft Teams.