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Incremental, Disruptive, and Foundational Technologies

The Innovators Dilemma points out the difference between an sustaining or incremental innovation and a disruptive innovation.

  • Sustaining technologies which foster improved product performance. (improves a current business model)
  • Disruptive technologies which result in worse product performance in the short term, but then over the long term they bring to a market a very different value proposition than had been available previously. (attacks current business models with lower cost business models)

This article references a Harvard Business Review article which points out the difference between a disruptive technology and a foundational technology.

  • Foundational technologies create new foundations for economic and social purposes.

Foundational technologies have two dimensions that need to be considered: novelty and complexity.

The more novel the technology is, the more effort needed to ensure users understand the problems the new technology solves.  The higher the number of parties and the diversity of parties that have to work together to work together to produce a new solution, the more complexity is involved in making that product available.

The Harvard Business Review article points out how foundational technologies take hold; see the section How Foundational Technologies Take Hold in the article.  They point out a matrix that compares the dimensions of novelty and complexty, the four intersections in the matrix are:

  • Low Novelty, Low Complexity: Single Use
  • High Novelty, Low Complexity: Localization
  • Low Novelty,  High Compexity: Substitution
  • High Novelty, High Complexity: Transformation
Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 01:40PM by Registered CommenterCharlie in | CommentsPost a Comment

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