In business school they had me read The Innovator’s Solut!on by Clayton Christensen. It wasn’t as profound of a read as my corporate entrepreneurship professor believed it to be; for example, Clayton stated that BlackBerry phone didn’t have a camera because it didn’t aid in the core function the end-user needed (i.e. business). Boy was Clayton wrong….especially now.
However, Clayton’s overall thesis of upstarts disrupting established companies to eventually become the dominant player in an industry is true.
At one point non-telecom companies that are now synonymous with telephones (e.g. Apple, Samsung) were merely new entrants into the hyper-competitive cell phone industry.
This kind of changing of the guards happens all the time in all industries. The latest well-known casualty, Blockbuster, is now closing. One thing Clayton did correctly observe is that disruptive technologies often debase established business models. We will see how Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. all fare in this brave new world.