Blogging as Disruptive Innovation

Dan Bricklin applies Clay Christensen’s ideas on innovation in his new book “The Innovator’s Solution”…

The theories, backed with many interesting footnotes and references, should be taken to heart by people who put down simple, “not-good-enough” innovations. “Because new-market disruptions compete against nonconsumption, the incumbent leaders feel no pain and little threat until the disruption is in its final stages. In fact, when the disruptors begin pulling customers out of the low end of the original value network, it actually feels good to the leading firms, because they move up-market in their own world, for a time they are replacing low-margin revenues that disruptors steal, with higher-margin revenues from sustaining innovations…Some people have concluded on occasion that when the incumbent leader doesn’t instantly get killed by a disruption, the forces of disruption somehow have ceased to operate, and that the attackers are being held at bay… These conclusions reflect a shallow understanding of the phenomenon, because disruption is a process and not an event.”

Another theory: “…customers — people and companies — have ‘jobs’ that arise regularly and need to get done. When customers become aware of a job that they need to get done in their lives, they look around for a product or service that they can ‘hire’ to get the job done.”

…to blogging:

There are “jobs” that blogging serves for both the blogger and blog reader. Those jobs are real, and are probably not served well enough by today’s journalism system (nor today’s blogging, yet). Blogging will evolve to eventually “fill” those “jobs” well (though the name we use for personal publishing may change).

These are still early days, but already I have seen how blogs and RSS have changed my reading and writing habits. They’ve enabled me to diffuse my ideas to a wider audience in a way which would have been impossible only a couple years ago. I have made more new contacts via my blog than via any other channel. But I still think we are only seeing the nascent beginning of this revolution – while blogs are important, the real innovation here is RSS, syndication and the emergence of the Publish-Subscribe Web.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.