Digital Disruption

Digital Disruption

Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

Amazon Publishing, 2013 more...

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Upstart entrepreneurs are applying new technology and thinking to disrupt industries from sleep clinics to military camouflage makers writes Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey. Free digital tools and open platforms like YouTube are knocking down the barriers to entry that once deterred start-ups. But technology is only part of the story. Focus also on the “adjacent possible” as you imagine what would next delight your customers. McQuivey offers part guidebook, part call to action, warning that if you don’t use technology to find fresh ways to please your customers, someone else will. getAbstract recommends his concise insights to start-ups, venture capitalists, business students and those looking to accelerate innovation at an existing company.


Today’s Innovators

New competitors with innovative ideas have always disrupted old industries. That disruption used to require years and enormous capital. Now it can be quick and cheap.

Today’s innovators disrupt industries using free, widely available technological tools to gain rapid economies of scale and to shake up markets. This kind of “digital disruption” means that upstarts can pose serious threats to large, entrenched companies before senior firms can react. It means your next rival could come from outside your industry.

Who are these digital disruptors? Consider Guy Cramer, who applies a simple graphics program to create military camouflage designs for the militaries of more than a dozen countries. Gabrielle Blair used free blogging tools to create a Design Mom website that millions of people read and advertisers support. Dave Dickinson’s company, Zeo Inc., sells a $100 headband that helps users understand how well they sleep – an innovation that big drug companies could not match.

Steps to Digital Disruption

If you run an established business, now is the time to become a digital disruptor. Your competitors probably are already on...

About the Author

Vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research James McQuivey has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist.

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