Who Am I To Disagree With Clayton Christensen About Disruptive Innovation?

Disruptive Innovation After all, Professor Christensen is the father of Disruptive Innovation. He literally wrote the book on the topic. BUT. In a recent HBR article, he bemoans the fact that, in his opinion, the term is being overused. Many shifts are indeed innovative, but some fairly specific defining characteristics need to be met in order to achieve the “disruptive” moniker. In this article, as you would expect a Professor to do, he briefly lays out the “theory” of DI, and specifies its criteria. So far, so good! BUT. He then goes on to state that, using these criteria, Uber doesn’t make the DI cut. Now I’m lost. Apparently taking liberties I didn’t know I was taking, I usually cite Uber as the poster child of DI. I read the article 3 times. I still don’t get where I am wrong. Bottom Line. But forget my confusion. Spend a couple of minutes reading the article. I guarantee you will find it a great review of DI and its applications. You will also find how DI can be used as the basis of developing business strategies, both offensive and defensive. All good. But I still think Uber is DI. What do you think?

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