Well, who hasn’t thought about it yet? Disruption has taken place in a lot of business branches already. TV, music, the entertainment industry, as well as the telephone industry, just to name a few. But what about social media? From several indicators, there hasn’t been any significant disruptive phenomenon within that industry over the past 15 years. Some of you may argue though, that there was, indeed, some sort of evolution in the social media world. I won’t dispute that fact. But what I’m implying is that the most important pillars of the industry have basically stayed the same since its origins. We have seen some new players entering the market, such as Snapchat or Instagram, which apps can be described as complementary in terms of functionality and user experience, rather than a radical revolution in the usage of social media in a disruptive fashion; not to mention that Instagram eventually has been purchased by the industry leader, Facebook. Of course, there was innovation within that particular sector, but as we know, innovation is not disruption. In order to understand what disruption really is about, we need to understand the terminology itself.
What is disruption?
When an innovative idea is birthed, considering the history of human kind, there isn’t a guaranty that it will be adopted straight away. Some inventions require several stages of evolution before they reach their marketable status and that means that many inventions vanish due to the competitive nature of the free market. If you look at the length of time it takes before a disruptive idea gains acceptance by users, a common pattern is apparent. Disruptors do not change the market overnight; it may take several years to establish and make a name for themselves.
A critical factor in disruption is importance. A disruption should first have a huge and sustainable impact on the way people make use of technology. Let’s take Netflix into perspective. A major disruption of television, it…