disruptive graph<p>Disruptive technology has a bit of a buzzword reputation. On the other hand, the Christensen book is always on people’s lists as a good book. So I bought it and checked it out. </p><p>As it turns out, most people seem to be either wrong or only partly right when they define disruptive tech. There’s big gaps missing in the Wikipedia entry , Dvorak gets it wrong , and even Cringely (surprise surprise) misses the boat . </p><p>Based on my new understanding straight from the book, I drew up this infographic / visual explanation (click for hig-rez PDF). I decided to zoom in on camera phones, since they are clearly a disruptive tech and show signs of blowing away the digital camera business the next year or two. </p><p>The graph is basically three-dimensional. The vertical axis is megapixels. The horizontal axis is the progress of time. And the third dimension (represented here with colour) is the market. </p><p>The point is that disruptive technologies initially enter into a new market that has different values. With camera phones, the highest value is that it’s always at hand, wherever you go. </p><p>The disruption occurs when the new technology suddenly meets the needs of the old market as well. Then it suddenly (and seemingly “out of nowhere”) takes over completely. </p>