Forbes published a few weeks ago an article titled “How to be a disrupter” written by Clayton M. Christensen and Scott D. Anthony, authors of the books The Innovator’s Solution and Seeing What’s Next (Christensen has also authored the famous book The Innovator’s Dilemma). For those who have not read these books, here is a brief description of disruptive innovation provided in this article:
“Disruptive innovations trade off pure performance in favor of simplicity, convenience or affordability. Disrupters target customers who find existing solutions too expensive or too complicated. They offer “good enough” solutions at a lower price.”
I would add to this description “with a profitable/sustainable business model”.
In this article the authors provide some examples of successful disruptive innovations such as Southwest Airlines (for those of us living in Europe, EasyJet is the european version of this example) or Spot Runner and introduce Vonage (an VoIP service provider) to show that not all disruptions win.