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Tom Elgar's Insights

| less than a minute read

Is the Internet still a Disruptive Technology for media?

A few years ago, I wanted to persuade our board to invest in a disruptive printing technology - it was disruptive to their business model in fact. We used this graph which very simply conveys the relationship between the quality (performance) of the disrupting technology verses the existing uses for the existing technology.

When this was laid out by Clayton Christensen in 1997, the Internet was unable to deliver the news in a sufficiently pleasant way for it to threaten mainstream media. Instead it was used to deliver a different media outlet. Early on with FAQs, Bulletin boards, and laterly blogs, social media and now (The Most Demanding Use) the majority of the output of all media organisations on TV, print, radio or otherwise.

So on the basis of this graph I would say: No, it is not Still a disruptive technology. And the journey from the bottom to the top took only slightly over a decade.

By the by, our board told us to get lost. The product was not high quality enough. And they were right. It wasn't, yet.

Generally, disruptive innovations ... offered less of what customers in established markets wanted and so could rarely be initially employed there. They offered a different package of attributes valued only in emerging markets remote from, and unimportant to, the mainstream.

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