LinkLog: Disruptive Innovations

This is an amazing infographic and has some very interesting pointers:

 products that lowered prices, approached their markets in unheard-of ways, even created new markets — and changed the world. See how they did it in this rich infographic, and then let us know of disruptive innovations you’ve encountered. What do you think will be the next disruptive product or service?

Some times to compete, you change the rules of the game or  pick a different point of attack. Microsoft did this to Lotus-1-2-3 by bundling a Windows run time in their first version of Excel and played a game and made it impossible for Lotus to catch up. Then they bundled a set of tools (Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Builder) into one compelling package that was impossible to compete with.

All Microsoft Office copy cats were nowhere near the quality or usefulness of Microsoft Office. They were trying to compete on the same terms as Microsoft Office on the desktop. Google changed the game by doing about 20% of the functionality for Microsoft Office for free and built it as a cloud based app. They are  rapidly gaining market share.

Google on the other hand picked a well established need for search and made it infinitely better.

So competition is never direct. It comes from a direction that you do not expect. That is both scary (for the established players) and great (for the disrupters).


2 thoughts on “LinkLog: Disruptive Innovations

  1. Interesting. Was listening to Horace Dediu’s Critical Path podcast[1] recently. Horace does a great job in his analysis. In the episode “Black Box”, he talks about the history of windows and Microsoft. I didn’t know this, but was interesting to learn that when Microsoft announced windows, they asked Lotus team to port the application to windows but they couldn’t get them to do that. Microsoft then went ahead and took several steps that ultimately resulted in office suite and killed Lotus forever.


    1. Thanks Ramesh. Microsoft not only went to Lotus but even tiny startups like Coromandel (our previous startup). I still recall standing in the booth with my colleague Narayanan when two Microsoft guys walked to us and asked us what we were doing. We told them that we have a DOS version of SQL engine. They asked “Why not Windows?”. We told them we did not think about it. They came back with two copies of Windows SDK, gave it us free and gave us a contact and asked us to contact them any time. When people think of disruptive innovations, they think of technology. But a lot of them miss the importance of building a community of champions.

Comments are closed.