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14 Entrepreneurs Define Innovation And Disruption

What comes to your mind when you think of being innovative or being a disruptor?

Some define it as coming up with a new product or way of doing things.

Here’s how entrepreneurs and business owners define innovation and disruption;

#1-Taking the steps when needed

Photo Credit: Angela Yeh

Innovation may in some cases be disruptive but it can also be incremental. And counter to what people might assume, depending on the situation, incremental innovation can be just as successful and probably even more in certain cases. Innovation oftens becomes disruptive because people and businesses tend to wait until things get really bad to take steps that they ideally should have taken, to begin with. Avoiding certain problems or situations may lead to them accumulating to a point after which innovation would necessarily involve disruption. One thing that may solve this problem is clarity- clarity on all levels of operations, to understand the best steps to continue incremental innovation and growth.

Thanks to Angela Yeh, Yeh Ideology and Thrive by Design!


#2- Creating a helpful and influential change

Photo Credit: Brian Burling

For eMotimo,disruption and innovation are one in the same as they both refer to creating a helpful and influential change in your industry. When someone creates a product that can simplify a process that was once only attainable by a few, the impact is collasoall as it gives everyone an even playing field. These achievements help further new ideas and ingenuity.

Thanks to Brian Burling, eMotimo!


#3- Finding the gaps

Photo Credit: Mike Welch

The disruption or innovation of a market can only really be viable if there is a big incumbent(s) who have rested on their laurels, are disregarding technology and or fundamentally under-serving customers. When you find an opportunity like that, it’s always fun to find the gaps and create a business model that goes places the big guys cannot follow, whilst better serving customers. To be successful at disrupting a market is to understand the technology advancements that are possible, understand what customers are wanting and what they need, and bridge those two aspects to create something special and different.

Thanks to Mike Welch, Tirescanner!


#4- Two things

Photo Credit: Reuben Yonatan

From a language perspective, to disrupt is to interrupt. When you apply that perspective to business, then disruption becomes the process of interrupting existing and well-established business models and establishing new ones. Essentially, taking the standard in your industry, shifting it on its head and creating a new market. Interestingly, it is not always about creating a never-seen-before product or service. For most, because disruption and innovation are so closely tied, they believe that for successful disruption, they must create a novel product or service. Sure, that is one way to go about it, but remember that nothing is ever 100% new. Innovation is more about breathing fresh life to what already exists or rather coming up with a solution whose perspective differs from what is already in the market!

Thanks to Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP!


#5- They’re similar ideas

Photo Credit: Jon Hill

Innovation and disruption are similar ideas, and in my mind the main difference between them is a matter of degree. When you innovate as a company, you’re doing something new but not necessarily groundbreaking. This could be either an intangible (e.g. a creative approach to hiring, a novel approach to supply chain, etc.), an completely new product, or a fresh take on an existing product. Disruption is an innovation that is so remarkable or beneficial that it completely upends the industry as people rush to replace their old ways with this new one. You could also describe this as a difference in scale. Innovations are a change for you and your customers, but often continue to coexist alongside established methods; disruptions are a change for the industry as a whole, forcing those even outside your sphere to re-evaluate their approach and adopt yours.

Thanks to Jon Hill, The Energists!


#6- Addressing a problem

Photo Credit: Dr. Logan Jones

The term disruptor is a wonderfully dynamic, often emotionally-charged word that can take on many meanings. My definition of the term disruptor: when a pain point meets innovation, and then fulfills a human need. A disrupter’s level of effectiveness and power is determined by how powerfully it’s addressing a pain point. What’s so fascinating about the term is that it allows for people to project their beliefs or experience onto the word. Some people may describe the phenomenon as negative or aggressive, because it implies that you’re creating a problem, robbing the heart and soul of something, stealing, or transgressing into someone else’s territory. Others may project a more benevolent and positive appreciation: that you’re challenging the status quo when there is a need to innovate and simplify a product or process because a need wasn’t being appropriately met. So, to disrupt is not to create a problem in a negative sense. On the contrary, it addresses a problem – the problem being someone’s pain is not being appropriately met, addressed, or relieved.

Thanks to Dr. Logan Jones, Clarity Therapy Online!


#7- Shaking things up and making visions a reality

Photo Credit: Alex Azoury

Disruption is a new player to the game who is shaking up the industry. They are able to capture an untapped market overlooked or underserved by existing, established players in the game.  Whereas innovation is moreso making your vision a reality, from concept to execution. An improvement to a technology or process to serve the needs of the customer, ultimately helping the industry evolve over time as it repositions itself around the innovation. Disruptors innovate, but innovation does not always disrupt.

Thanks to Alex Azoury, Home Grounds!


#8- Passion and polarizing

Photo Credit: Elliott Reimers

A disruptor polarizes opinions; if you want to be one you need to ask yourself: What would you rather be? A wealthy, successful person love/hated by many or a regular guy liked by most. They dare to dream, they act on their thoughts, for better or worse, whereas 99% of people will sit on their one great idea. A disruptor is almost always successful, if he wasn’t they would just be granted a nuisance.

Thanks to Elliott Reimers, Rave Reviews!


#9- Three aspects

Photo Credit: James Zimbardi

As an innovator, I always ask what type of innovation is needed to solve the problem at hand? I always consider three types of innovation:1) Incremental Innovation – Providing a solution to a problem by making an incremental change or iteration. Example: Hybrid cars that still require gas but get more milage because electric batteries are being used as well. 2) Disruptive Innovation – Providing a solution to a problem that completely alters the way something is done. Example: Fully electric transportation such as Tesla cars. 3) Open Innovation – Sometimes innovation comes from applying a solution developed for one purpose and can be applied to another purpose. Example: Bubble wrap was originally intended to be wallpaper, not packaging protection.

Thanks to James Zimbardi, Rent Items!


#10- Disruption comes after you innovate

Photo Credit: Manny Hernandez

Simply put, I would define disruption as the process of creating a new market that would dominate and eventually take over by sending the existing market to extinction. Innovation can b said to be an envisioned dream that is being made to manifest and come to reality. There is a lot of connection between these two words but that doesn’t change the fact that they are different. I would say disruption comes about from an innovation hence the word disruptive innovation, however not all innovations are capable to disrupt a market which signifies the difference between the 2 words.

Thanks to Manny Hernandez, Wealth Growth Wisdom, LLC!


#11- Displacement and creating ideas

Photo Credit: Kenny Trinh

Most often, disruption is used to denote displacement of an incumbent firm by another firm (e.g. Apple disrupted Blackberry) and it originally refers to what Schumpeter called “creative destruction”. One must remember that such a phenomenon is only known in hindsight and thus has little predictive power; one cannot say today whether Tesla will disrupt GM or whether Amazon will disrupt Walmart. While innovation is a combination of different ideas that creates a new idea that is what innovation is, it is just like a group of light waves join together to form a bright spot. But in order to get that individual idea, we should have the knowledge and some research that makes a new idea in an efficient one.

Thanks to Kenny Trinh, Netbooknews!


#12- Three roles

Photo Credit: Morgan Taylor

There’s disruption, innovation, and disruptive innovation, and they all have the role to play. Disruption is where you take an existing marketing method, or even manufacturing method and look for a different way to do it. It’s about deliberately breaking the pattern to see what happens. Innovate is about trying new things, researching parallel markets and testing new ways of expanding your customer base. Innovation isn’t just about changing things and seeing what sticks though, it also includes looking at ways that existing processes could be tweaked for greater efficiency. Disruptive innovation is your biggest goal. Disruptive innovation is where you find a new market, or a new way to reach the market that even changes how your competitors market. An example could be that you are marketing some very cheap hubcaps, but you introduced a way to fit them to pedal bikes, thus creating a whole new market for the product, and a new trend in your marketplace.

Thanks to Morgan Taylor, LetMeBank!


#13- Improving the way of life

Photo Credit: Jeremy Owens

Both words have the goal of improving the way of life of society but differ in terms of how they affect the current system. Disruption refers to an industrial revolution that aims to change the way things work into something better overall than the previous one. Innovation is more docile than disruption since it only focuses on adding stuff to the old system to improve the current system.

Thanks to Jeremy Owens, Seriously Smoked!


#14- Giving a new perspective

Photo Credit: A Mueed Qazi

Disruption and innovation is something which goes hand in hand, it should be often if not always. You can be a disruptor if you’re different, and to be different you must be an innovator. That’s what innovation is all about, giving a new perspective, a new meaning to what you have to offer. What’s important, though is that not every new is better, and that’s the key. It’s just that more you step into the shoes of your clients or customers, better innovation you can come up with. Because you must feel the required customization to the level of their necessity. You must’ve heard what’s the mother of all inventions, haven’t you?

Thanks to A Mueed Qazi, See Through Hearts!


How would you define disruption and innovation? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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