Chances are if you were finishing your business education in the late nineties, The Innovators Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen, was mandatory reading. To this day it’s still considered one of the best business books in modern times. It was in this book that Christensen coins the term disruptive technology (later changed to disruptive innovation), to describe a process by which a product or service gains a foothold in simple applications at the low end of a market, then pushes up market, eventually knocking off the established competitors. Simply put, great companies can, have, and will fail despite ostensibly doing everything right. Think Kodak and Xerox.
As I’ve worked in the automotive space for basically my entire adult life, I’ve got to see the forefront of several technologies and services that were self-declared disruptive. Hell, I thought the lead scoring I helped develop would be considered disruptive, but with the absence of third-party leads, it now looks rather ho-hum. Sure the basic logic has led to martech and fintech applications (and recent sales of a company with a lottery valuation), but It didn’t have that Netflix vs. Blockbuster impact. Time will tell that tale. [Read more…]