The power of disruptive innovation

Disruptive innovation, a term of art coined by Clayton Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.

Often organizations develop products without considering customers’ needs. As a result, they produce products or services that are actually too sophisticated, too expensive, and too complicated for many customers in their market. This is a traditional strategy to succeed. By charging the highest prices to their most demanding and sophisticated customers at the top of the market, companies achieve the greatest profitability.

However, by doing so, companies open the door to “disruptive innovations” at the bottom of the market. An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers at the bottom of a market access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill.

Disruption is a positive force. Disruptive innovations are not breakthrough technologies that make good products better. They are innovations that transform sectors to make products affordable and convenient.

In the video below, Clayton Christensen explains how we can use disruptive innovation to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. Key to this is bringing technology to clinics, doctor’s offices and patient’s homes, then driving the technology to become more sophisticated.

 

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Bio-hackers getting ready for 3D DNA printing on demand

What if technology could prevent birth defects, store massive amounts of data, help a gay couple have their own genuine biological children by mixing and matching their DNA in software or increase the mind’s ability to tap its full potential? It would be a very weird world, indeed. But, that future world may not be so far away if Cambrian Genomics, a San Francisco based bio-hacking company started by Austen Heinz, has its way.

Right now 3D printing human DNA costs $2.2 billion. Heinz has found a way to build hardware/systems for laser printing DNA 10.000 times cheaper paving the way to make the technology available for the masses so anyone will become a genetic designer. Heinz says his DNA laser printing technology currently can produce more DNA in a single round than all the machines in the world in an entire year.

If synthetic DNA will become a consumer product only time will tell but, meantime, if you want to learn more about how DNA laser printing work don’t miss the following video: