Classifying sources of innovation

While reviewing this week’s lecture that follows up on Peter Drucker’s Discipline of Innovation, I came to a few questions for discussion.

If New Knowledge takes a longer time to fruition, then what is Disruptive Technologies supposed to be?

So, can I say that Disruptive Technologies may not be birthed from a new knowledge but usually they are formed due to changes in perception or even incongruities? If Disruptive Technologies is a form of new knowledge, it is unlikely it will stun the industry and displace an incumbent company. Agree?

Hard-disk industry, people started looking at a “lower” and cheaper tech and it became part of PCs and Laptops. Maybe I can call this example a “Low-tech” disruption.
(Is this source of innovation from incongruities or new knowledge?)

Okay, how about iPhones? Apple has such fore-sight that when it came out with its iPods, they weren’t satisfied. They were thinking ahead. Why don’t we marry music playing with telecommunication functions?
When the Sony Walkman (I would say it’s the pioneer of portable music) came about, most music devices target the portability utility and hardly anyone thought of combining a phone and a music device.
And then comes the iPhone from Apple, marrying entertainment, personal organization (inspired by Palm Pilot,etc) with telecommunications.

So in your opinion, is an iPhone innovation from an Incongruity source? Or we can classify them under Incongruities and in Changes in Perception?

IMHO, I think smart phones and other consumer electronics nowadays aren’t new knowledge but more of a creative fusion of anything someone can think about.

If we finally adopt the flexible displays (fold-able phones and those newspapers you see in Harry Potter movie where a newspaper can transmit videos on the page itself), then this is definitely a source of New Knowledge innovation.

Whatever innovation we are speaking of, do not forget Geoffrey A. Moore’s Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers. Where it speaks of the technology adoption lifecycle where five main segments are recognized; innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Once your tech product crosses the chasm, you can expect a large buying market. Hence, crossing the chasm.

The diagram you see is from Tech Startup 3.0 which classified Moore’s diagram into something we can identify with.
So please interpret the below contemporary diagram as
Innovators – Tech Enthusiasts.
Early Adopters – Visionaries
Early Majority – Pragmatists
Late Majority – Conservatives
Laggards – Skeptics

(1) Something interesting about Sony Walkman, the founder or innovator of this innovation saw hippies in the US shouldering large radio sets on the streets blasting their music. And the idea of a walkman portable music player came forth.


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