Disruptive Innovation as a Competitive Intelligence Framework Part 1

Authored bycascade

Three Ways to Predict When Your World is About to Change

It can seem like everywhere you look, someone is proclaiming that the latest buzzword will redefine the fabric of the universe. While cutting through the noise to identify truly disruptive innovations can be difficult, it’s an important task for competitive intelligence organizations. Affirmative answers to the following questions can be the foundations of the conclusion that a given trend is a disruptive innovation that you need to take note of:

  1. Is it simple, reliable, and convenient, at a low price point? These characteristics simplify adoption, which can help a technology achieve fast uptake. That factor clearly increases the likelihood that a particular innovation will be disruptive.
  2. Is it a combination of existing technologies? Innovations based on familiar, proven building blocks have a shorter path to adoption than those that are completely new and foreign, particularly because they are often perceived as involving relatively low risk.
  3. Does it focus on a small or niche market, and solve a specific problem? When an innovation can gain traction without needing to change the fundamentals of an industry all at once, it has an easier path to disrupting the status quo.

This blog post is the first in a series of three about using competitive intelligence techniques to recognize disruptive innovation. The next entry, “Three Reasons an Innovation Might Not Move Mountains,” discusses factors that indicate a sustaining innovation rather than a disruptive one, and the last one in the series, “Three Habits of Highly Disruptive Competitors,” helps identify whether a specific competitor is likely to initiate disruptive innovation.

By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart

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