Is Disruptive Innovation Overrated? – You Need Continuous Innovation
Keywords – Disruptive Innovation – Continuous Innovation
Business is not just about creating a buzz.
The problem with buzzes is, they don’t last long enough to build an empire.
I am not generalising. They are obviously disruptive technologies that have lasted. You are using one right now to read this article, i.e. the internet. It redefined the way we live today.
But, how many disruptive technologies can you name in a single breath? 5? 10?
And, how many new businesses are launched per year?
In the US alone, the number stands at 627,000 new businesses per year.
In simple terms, the odds of you disrupting the market are close to none. But, we seem to like the idea that our product or service will create something out of nothing. That should not be the aim of a business.
Building Acceptance & Consolidating
In a realistic sense, your aim should be to create a product or service that is acceptable for your target segment. Your job then is to make sure that you maintain your competitive advantage by integrating dynamic knowledge and innovation into the system.
But, this innovation needs to be a continuous one.
There are multiple reasons to apply this approach, except the realism that we have covered already.
1. Continuous Innovation is Manageable
I can’t put it any better than the heading above. But, I can give you an example.
The only time in history Apple struggled is when it tried to be disruptive.
Now, we can make all the jokes about how Apple keeps producing the same product again and again. But, point of the fact is, Apple is one of the biggest companies in the world. And, their model is based on minimal continuous innovation. (We talk more about this here).
And, the reason for this strategy is simple.
2. Humans Prefer Smaller Changes
I could have said that humans are resistant to change.
But, to a certain degree, humans like smaller bundles of changes. It keeps things interesting.
We have reached a point in marketing; and digital marketing; where we understand that you need to create smaller bits of attention grabbing to leave a higher impact. We talk more about this here.
And, this is no different in product and services development.
If you stop the process of innovation completely, you start moving towards stagnation. We can then connect this to devaluation or passiveness. But at a psychological level, the stagnation seeps through to create a feeling of discontent in the long run, from the consumer and even inside an organisation.
This is again true in the case of Apple.
Me being an ex Apple user can testify that I started feeling that the products were not moving forward sufficiently. This is where you need to find a balance to satisfy the clients. A singleton example doesn’t mean much to Apple, but if you are a B2B, you need to stay on top of continuous innovation.
In simple terms, find your own balance, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel everyday.