Where does disruption happen?

A Falcon 9 (SpaceX) taking off (source:StockSnap.io)

We hear it often these days. It seems to be the key to success, the magic word that opens the doors of wealth, growth and recognition. The word “disruption” seems to be the “Abracadabra” of the business world.

Disrupt, innovate, change the old ways. But what does it really mean?

This is what the Cambridge Dictionary tells us

As we evolve, we realize that it is harder and harder to come up with new things in the real sense. On the other hand, ideas are everywhere, everybody has them, but it’s the execution that kills us.

“Ideas are shit. Execution is the game” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Think about it:

  • Was Facebook the first social network?
  • How about Apple? Did they invent the phone, the computer?
  • Is Windows the first Operating System ever created?
  • Have you ever used a messaging service before WhatsApp?

So, what does this mean for one’s desire to be successful?

It means we need to start searching for other ways of innovating.

Each market and each field of activity has its own characteristics, its own way of evolving and developing. What seems to be the key to success nowadays is mixing two (or more) “worlds”.

Think of Tesla, Uber, AirBnb, SpaceX, PayPal, Amazon.

What do they have in common?

They have all combined Information Technology and its working principles and know-how with “classic” fields and markets. The innovation was not necessarily the product they were developing, it was more related to how they were doing it.

I have concentrated on the synergy with the IT because it is the most obvious nowadays and it seems to be the mother of all unicorns, as there’s hardly any area of activity where it would not be applicable, but other combinations do exist and start to develop (e.g. just think 3D printing), so I’m expecting to see this symbiosis more often and in industries and places we would have never expected.

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