Disruptive Technology: What It Is And How It Works

We learn every day about disruption from the mainstream media. Just a few, however, know what it means, or how to create it. 

We now live in a world of infinite options and possibilities where new goods and services are being introduced at an ever-increasing rate. In the age of technology, innovations can be created quicker than ever on top of the current technologies.


This entails a new, much bigger wave of disruption which is underway, and this transition will impact nearly all industries – one way or another. The initial step toward disruptive technology development is to grasp what it is all about and how it works.

Disruptive Technology: What It Is And How It Works
Image Source: ELE Times

What is Disruptive Technology?

Disruptive technology is an advancement that weeds out an existing technology or a groundbreaking product or service that generates a new market. Disruptive innovations are capable of changing the way we work, live, learn, and act.

Disruptive innovations are often defined as being both disruptive and innovative at the same time because they make old products — and often even entire industries — outdated, producing new ones instead.


The term disruptive technology is possibly the most commonly used to refer to gadgets and electronics, but it is also applicable to ideas and services

Examples of current disruptive technologies include e-commerce, online news sites, ride-sharing apps, and GPS systems. The automobile, electricity, and television were disruptive innovations in their own times.

Other Examples of Disruptive Technology

You are on the way to a conference in your self-driving car. You direct your smartphone to start a video call with a teammate by giving voice commands over your vehicle’s Bluetooth connection.


You ask her to bring the prototype medical device you created using a 3D printer. You end the conversation and take your tablet out to revisit the slideshow you created and saved on the cloud.

You use an app on your phone to set the DVR at home to record your favorite show while you glance through the slides. That situation may have seemed like something out of a "World of the Future" exhibit at the Epcot Center 10 years ago.

But today, each of these developments either exists or is very close to becoming a reality, with the advent of new industries and companies around it.

Disruptive Technology: What It Is And How It Works
Image Source: Analytics India Magazine

How Disruptive Technology Works

Even a startup with minimal capital can aim at disrupting technology by creating a whole innovative way to get things done. Developed businesses prefer to concentrate on what they do best and seek gradual, rather than groundbreaking changes.

They work for their most significant and demanding clients. This offers an opportunity for disruptive businesses to target neglected client segments and establish a foothold in the industry.

Established businesses cannot also rapidly respond to new challenges. This helps the disruptors to step upstream over time and cannibalize more customer segments. Disruptive innovations are challenging to plan for since they may unexpectedly emerge.

A disruptive technology sweeps away the structures or behaviors that it replaces because it has identifiably superior attributes. It dramatically alters the way consumers, industries, or businesses work.

Final Words

The secret to disruptive innovation is the capacity to crack the current model of operation and build the appropriate conditions for a new one to arise. 

Disruption means doing something different and making a conscious attempt to alter the industry's general conceptions. Businesses build and commit to varying kinds of value, even though it is not the most lucrative option in the short-term.