The Disruption Machine

The idea of innovation is the idea of progress stripped of the aspirations of the Enlightenment, scrubbed clean of the horrors of the twentieth century, and relieved of its critics. Disruptive innovation goes further, holding out the hope of salvation against the very damnation it describes: disrupt, and you will be saved.

  • Jill Lepore

This critique of Clayton Christensen’s work is fantastic! Not only does it discuss some of the many, many flaws in the theory of Disruptive Innovation, I think it contextualises it really well as merely part of our current crop of mythology that we employ to explain nature – rise/fall, birth/death and the changes in between. I think this sums the whole thing up perfectly:

Disruptive innovation is a theory about why businesses fail. It’s not more than that. It doesn’t explain change. It’s not a law of nature. It’s an artifact of history, an idea, forged in time; it’s the manufacture of a moment of upsetting and edgy uncertainty. Transfixed by change, it’s blind to continuity. It makes a very poor prophet.

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