Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Disrupt the Status Quo in Product Offerings

A friend recently sent me a link to Demo.com -- it's a self-titled launch pad for emerging technology. I was intrigued at what one of the conference producers said...

...said Chris Shipley, product analyst and executive producer of the DEMO conferences. "Ours is a year-long process that culminates in 72 hours of products that are more than disruptive; they change the rules of the game as we know it. They are innovative, they are important, they are fun, and they represent the future products and solutions we all will be using soon.”

What struck me here is the willy nilly application of the idea of disruptive. Most people think that disruptive products are those that go agianst the grain, or that offer a modified alternative to the leading product within a category. That's where I think this whole idea of being disruptive goes horribly wrong, and companies waste money and energy on nothing more than variations on a theme (e.g. vanilla ice cream with nuts, vanilla ice cream with caramel ribbons, etc.). No matter what, you're still producing plain, mediocre, vanilla.

Disruptive means that you fundamentally change the nature of the market and the way the consumer interacts with it. The Apple iPod, the Nintendo 64 and Wii, and even in films with The Matrix and Lord of the Rings trilogies; these products changed the industry and consumer interaction within them forever.

I am going to do some research on this and see if I can come up with a list of what makes something disruptive. There is a ton of books on the subject -- I'll do a quick review and see if anyone has anything "disruptive" to suggest.

-- David Kinard, PCM

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