Disruptive innovation: the great idea that changes an era!

One of the most famous examples of disruptive innovation, the one that many quote and tell others, was what Steve Jobs did by taking the keyboard out of cell phones and replacing it with a screen, which not only displayed high definition images, but obeyed to user commands when touched.

The world has changed , and a lot, after that!

But what is disruptive innovation, anyway?

Some tips:

  • All iPhone innovations , if taken separately, were not innovations, they already existed.
  • The change was simple, but its consequences quite complex.
  • The change created a new product category, something entirely new.
  • Products that used to occupy this consumption territory were immediately obsolete.
  • Anyone who has not “imitated the novelty” has either disappeared afterwards or crawls stubbornly and reels like a stranger in the nest (see Blackberry ).

But enough clues! Before we finally understand what disruptive innovation is, let’s watch Steve Jobs’ anthological video introducing his iPhone to the world and a new era of possibilities:

Disruptive Innovation, the iPhone example:

Prophetic words: From time to time a revolutionary product appears, which changes everything!

See also: ITIL change management: employ best practices


What is disruptive innovation, learn now!

As much as you bring your team together and employ the most innovative brainstorming techniques , look for some way to use the famous blue ocean strategy to distance yourself from competitors , or break your head in search of process innovation, a disruptive innovation will not appear like that, suddenly, in front of you.

There is a whole change management process that can help you find incredible disruptive innovation, as in the example shown above.

Notice that Steve Jobs comments: This is the moment I have been waiting for 2 years!

But let’s take a few steps back: what is innovation?

“It is the only way to convert change into an opportunity.”

Peter Drucker

According to Clayton Christensen , the answer to the question “what is disruptive innovation” is found in this sentence:

“Disruptive innovations are those that break the old business model . They usually favor the appearance of new entrants ”.

A disruptive innovation, for example, was the introduction of CDs instead of K7 tapes .

Learn more: Competitive market analysis: understand Porter’s model of forces and its 5 variables


Differences between disruptive innovation and traditional innovation

Disruptive innovation is not revolutionary , because it does not overturn the established order, but introduces a novelty that fits this order perfectly and that many wanted, but did not have.

Disruptive innovation is not evolutionary , because it does not mean the next step in something that already existed, but a different and better way of doing something that many needed, but did not have.

The traditional innovation is sustainable and incremental because it brings improvements to a product that already exists . Disruptive innovation is at high risk because it is related to change .

Summing up:

Traditional Innovation vs. Disruptive Innovation

  • Current Customers X New Customers
  • Lower Investment vs. High Investment
  • Short Term X Long Term
  • Lower Risk vs. High Risk
  • Predictable Return vs. Uncertain Return
  • Adds Value X New Value
  • Improves X Creates

See also: Governance, risks and compliance in process improvement


Controlling the risk of disruptive innovations

Every change involves risks. Therefore, it is necessary to find a solution for your business process that reduces the threats of time needed to develop innovation, physical space for teams and facilities, in addition to the most critical: the perception of value by the market .

The analysis and management of these risks has a fundamental role in introducing disruptive innovation in the market.

Here are some important steps:

  • Predict and “plan failure”
  • Make decisions based on past experience in project management
  • Use up-to- date and transparent information for this decision-making
  • It is necessary to define a new business model
  • This business model must be difficult to imitate , to keep out new entrants

To summarize in a very emphatic way everything we’ve seen so far, we can describe what disruptive innovation is in these words:

Something that didn’t exist, but that everyone needed.

Something that now exists, and that nobody knew they needed.

Check out: Business Process Modeling Course with BPMN

If you want to innovate in your processes and discover the most effective way to deliver to end customers everything they need with a high perceived value , use an innovative business process automation tool that is intuitive, collaborative and takes full advantage of process management.


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