Disruptive Technologies

In his 1997 best-selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen described disruptive technology as a new technology that unexpectedly displaces an established technology.

Christensen stated that new technologies can be separated into two categories: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technology relies on incremental improvements to an already established technology. Disruptive technology often lacks refinement, has performance problems and because it is new, appeals to a narrow or limited audience, and may not yet have a proven practical application.

In businesses and society, large organizational units (i.e. societies and governments) are designed to work with sustaining technologies. As we have seen, most are geared to maintain the status quo and resist changes that could upset it. It is not unusual for large organizations to dismiss the value of a disruptive technology because it does not reinforce current goals, only to be blindsided as the technology matures, gains a larger audience and market share and threatens the status quo.

Product based disruptive technologies were things like the cotton gin, transistor radios, television, mobile phones, personal computers and the Internet. Culturally disruptive technologies were things like Christianity, capitalism and it could be argued that America itself was a disruptive technology.

In America, a large component of our political disagreements centers on the return to a non-disruptive technology – communism. I know that the communists think that this theory of economic organization is new and disruptive, but the end result of communist organization has been proven to be totalitarian and tyrannical rule by a strongman leader – or a small group of people with dictatorial power.

That is not new.

For a technology to be truly disruptive, it must produce a new and different result – not provide a new way to reach the same result.

Is it possible that we are on the verge of a new combination of old technologies that could be disruptive? Is it possible that we are on the cusp of the dawn of a new theory of economic organization?

Should we discard the traditional idea that the boundaries of our several states are drawn as geographical boundaries? Now that the powers of the states have been minimized though the controlling federal state, do state boundaries even have meaning? Would it be more accurate to design these boundaries along cultural or economic lines? Should American society be split between those who seek a communist existence and those seeking capitalistic existence?

What if we created an new Homestead Act for decaying cities like Detroit where people could be granted a home and a parcel of arable land (most could be given adjoining lots) with the stipulation that they must live there for 3 years and maintain a garden to provide a portion of their sustenance before they were given clear title to the property?

What if the US had communist economic zones where people could move to pursue their idea of an economy and society without impinging on the rights of Americans who believe in capitalism? Our collectivist leaning governments use “free trade zones” to encourage capitalism, why do they not create “income equality” zones where collectivists could create their own version of Utopia?

I’m no fan of coerced communism or collectivism of any shape or form but there are many people who have never experienced or even remember the terror of the “great” communistic states like the USSR and China under Mao. They also forget that Hitler’s Germany was socialist and Mussolini’s Italy was fascist. While the modern educational establishment has taught generations that these two are right wing ideologies, they are not – they share much more in common with the actual application of communism than they do capitalism.

I’ve always said that these folks want just enough of our capitalism to fund their adventures in collectivism but it may be that we have to allow communist zones (without funding from capitalist America) so that the true believers, fellow travelers and useful idiots can experience the true oppression and depravity of communist society on their own.

Some folks are slow learners.

16 thoughts on “Disruptive Technologies

    • True innovation is always disruptive. Now we understand why government can never foster new discovery. Politicians and Government emphasize protectionism and more of the same/ status quo for its supporters.

      Scientific exploration and new discovery is prevented by government’s takeover and implementation of the “peer review process” for research and development support as these 30 renowned scientists explain here:

      “After 1970, politicians substantially expanded academic sectors. Peer review’s uses allowed the rise of priorities, impact etc, and is now virtually unavoidable. Applicants’ proposals must convince their peers that they serve national policies and are the best possible uses of resources. Success rates are about 25%, and strict rules govern resubmissions. Rejected proposals are usually lost. Industry too has lost its taste for the unpredictable. The 500 major discoveries, almost all initiated before about 1970, challenged mainstream science and would probably be vetoed today. Nowadays, fields where understanding is poor are usually neglected because researchers must convince experts that working in them will be beneficial.”

  1. Utah: I’ve followed Dr. Christensen’s work on innovation and entrepreneurship since I was a b-school professor myself and he has been a truly innovative thinker. His applications of the basic insights from THE INNOVATOR’S DILEMMA to specific industries like healthcare and education are also really interesting. Your application of Christensen’s paradigm to our current conflict between the largely free market American system versus Our Dear Leader’s Progressive/Marxist approach does cry out for a period where the two systems could run in parallel, and the comparative results be analyzed. Unfortunately, I am stuck in the Peoples Republic of Connecticut, which is Ground Zero for really stupid Collectivist policies, while states like Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio, among others, are already demonstrating what students of economic and political already know. Marxism in its various flavored, including Fascism, Nazism, Communism, Socialism, and Liberal/Progressivism in America, have never succeeded anywhere, anytime on this planet and in our current dimension!!! By succeeding I mean providing an improved, or at least decent lifestyle for average citizens.

    What the Lib/Progs have consistently accomplished has been to create greater income disparity between the ruling elite and their crony capitalist financial supporters and average Americans, which Our Dear Leader has already begun to achieve, while attacking the inevitable results of his own failed policies…and people say Obama is lacking cajones!!! He is when it comes to international affairs, but he continues to screw working American citizens whenever possible!!! CDE

    • Charles,
      I agree with your comment.
      It always amazes me when smart people have to go to such lengths to explain historical “common sense” or things “already known” as you state..

      Meanwhile, the marxists pretend to not know history while intentionally burying and indoctrinating the unsuspecting ignorant….

      These are tactics of subjugators. Luckily “natural law” and common sense always win out.

      • Texas: I think we are approaching a watershed in America, insofar as millions of Americans are awakening to the actual intentions of the media confection that they twice allowed to steal the American Presidency. Strong leaders are emerging within the GOP and the critical role of providing accurate information wherever we can falls to those of us who understand the threat that Our Dear Leader and his Liberal/Progressive cronies pose to our American Constitution and the nation it created and still guards.

        We cannot permit those who seek to destroy the exceptional nature of America to do so from within our own institutions. I have committed to supporting the efforts to regain the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, because I think without those changes our nation and the future of our children and grandchildren will not be the America our ancestors bled and died to create and sustain.

        We here at RNL need to join this critical battle, through whatever means each of us chooses to pursue. I have joined the TEA Party movement as a volunteer and have began blogging and writing on a variety of websites and other media outlets. It has been my pleasure to begin the process of bringing light to those who have suffered in the darkness of Liberal/Progressivism, which I am finding is still rampant in certain benighted sectors of our society, even after six years of Obama’s complete failure. So far, I have found engaging with our Liberal/Progressive friends to be the intellectual equivalent of a baby seal hunt. I encourage you to join the fun…it should be more exciting than reading Joe and I debate how many libertarians can dance on the head of a Democrat!!! CDE

  2. “…While the modern educational establishment has taught generations that these two are right wing ideologies, they are not – they share much more in common with the actual application of communism than they do capitalism…..”

    Indeed True Utah ………. Hitler HIMSELF strongly proclaimed that he and his Nazi Party were socialist !


    Seems to me America already HAS had the two systems run side by side simultaneously…… Detroit and California and Chicago are the examples of Failure right before our eyes. The Only difference being that the LABEL of Communism wasn’t acknowleged by the Media and academia.

    • Don: Your point about the two systems is what I was getting at in the second part of my comment. I’ve been following the economic developments in Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida as compared to California, Detroit, New York, and the Federal government under Obama, and while the case studies are by no means pure, it really does represent an opportunity to compare what Liberal/Progressivism produces (shared misery) versus semi-free market capitalism (prosperity). While Obama and his Liberal/Progressive cronies are masters at distorting language and images, and have begun misrepresenting various government reports, they are authoritarian Marxists in every action and every attack on our basic American freedoms. Their problem is that their Collectivist policies always fail…and so the Obama Presidency is imploding in all but its press reports. CDE

      • Absolutely Charles. Did you see theBlaze/TV special on “The Soviet Story” this past week ? If not give it a look see. Starts with a half hour intro of “For the Record” and then plays the whole horror of the Communist collectivist REALITY in”The Soviet Story”.

        Everyone in America should watch at least the first half-hour….especially junior high, high school , millenials and Gen x …. they just weren’t taught the Truth about Socialism / Communism.

  3. CDE,
    To take a line from Victor Laszlo in my favorite movie, “Casablanca:” Welcome to the fight–This time I know our side
    will win.”

    • Ed: I am convinced we can win this time around but it will be a long war to reverse the 100+ years of socialism brought into America by the Liberal/Progressives and now accepted by many American citizens as “normal!” The Social Security System alone is insolvent by $94-trillion and growing and that was planned to happen by FDR, who knew Americans would never tolerate the taxation required to support its actual costs. Social Security was sold in the same manner as Obamacare, with lies and deception and other examples of Lib/Prog duplicity abound. The return to our Founders’ vision must begin today, and continue until it is complete!!! There can be no compromises with those seeking to turn our nation into a limp-waisted echo of a Western European Socialist disaster!!! CDE

      • Here Here CDE ……….. Rally round Boys !!!

        When you say…”..There can be no compromises with those seeking to turn our nation into a limp-waisted echo of a Western European Socialist disaster!!! …”

        And we have to include Phony Conservatives and Phony Libertarians like *Paul Ryan and others* who are doing nothing but INCREASE our debt with BullSh!t Budget socalled….”Compromises”.

        We ( Conservatives / Constitutionalists etc) have got to keep Reminding and saying, Front and Center that the Progressives are running Washington from BOTH Parties. This has to be at the forefront of People’s minds !

  4. “What if we created an new Homestead Act for decaying cities like Detroit where people could be granted a home and a parcel of arable land (most could be given adjoining lots) with the stipulation that they must live there for 3 years and maintain a garden to provide a portion of their sustenance before they were given clear title to the property?”

    This IS communist-ish. You are taking property and giving it to those who work it, without consent of the previous owners.

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