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.
If the answer is “Yes” to these, you’re likely looking at a disruptive innovation.