Friday, May 27, 2005

What is a disruptive technology?


The term disruptive technology was coined by Clayton M. Christensen to describe a new, possibly lower performance, but less expensive product that addresses an existing market. The disruptive technology starts by gaining a foothold in the low-end, and less demanding, part of the market, then moves up-market through performance improvements, and finally displaces an incumbent's product.

By contrast, a sustaining technology provides improved performance only and, according to Christensen, will almost always be incorporated into the incumbent's product.

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