October 22, 2014


The Idea That Disruption Is Dead Is a Myth (Mike EdelhartOCTOBER 22, 2014, Entrepenuer)

This is my third tech revolution and in each, richly endowed pundits have declared the emerging technologies deficient, delusional, defunct. And, in each revolution, those pundits have been wrong. These current downbeat predictions about the social/mobile revolution are wrong, too.

Here's why: This tendency to declare the game over while we are still warming up for it stems from some fundamental misunderstandings of how tech revolutions and change actually work.

First, as much as we might expect and want it to, technological change doesn't occur arithmetically. If only each little change led to another change and to another in a neat, consistent, straight-line chain. In reality, though, tech change is epochal, following a course more like evolution. In evolution, everything appears to stay the same in an environment until the sum total of challenges to species in it passes a critical threshold and then change happens dramatically, deeply and suddenly. So, too, with tech revolutions. Everything in business and society seems pretty much normal on the surface, and stays the same, and stays the same. And then, boom, everything seems dramatically different. PCs are a trinket until suddenly they are everywhere and touch everything. The Internet is a weird backwater full of flaming nerds and tap dancing cats until, suddenly, it is the lifeblood of culture.

In the Darwinian world of tech revolution, traditional businesses don't disappear, they become extinct. New businesses, business models and economics don't merely win, in the sense of a war, they conquer with the totality and finality of evolution. They rise rapidly and inexorably in response to radically altered circumstances, wiping out those who cannot adapt utterly off the map. It's the death of the dinosaurs in business and cultural terms.

Posted by at October 22, 2014 7:17 PM

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