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Disruptive Innovation

Wanna take photos of the Earth from the deep in the atmosphere… well, apparently with $150 you can! This story of Oliver & Lee from MIT who accomplished this feat, taking 4000 photos of the Earth from the Stratosphere definitely got me buzzing in my chair.

The story is used as an example of disruptive ideas, those kinds of innovation that just literally pull the rug right from under the feet of the current status quo in that industry. John Sviolka in this article on the Harvard Business site talks about disruptive innovation and goes on to identify some interesting ways that certain businesses or innovations have become disruptive from Craigslist to Southwest Airlines. Here’s a quick point summary:

  1. Simultaneously simplify a number of advantages together to create a new cost base
  2. Give away the other guy’s razor!
  3. Look for new, radically cheaper ways to do the job
  4. Think about leveraging a very few individuals with extraordinary talent

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