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14 Entrepreneurs Define The Term Disruption

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

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

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

#1- Changing the way an industry works

Photo Credit: David Ciccarelli

At Voices dot com we define ourselves as being industry disruptors. The concept of an online marketplace for voice over revolutionized the way an entire industry thought of and hired voice-over for their productions. In our experience, disruption is defined as changing the way an industry works and it is often accompanied by a new technology or an innovation that simplifies things. Disruption is also an ongoing process, it’s not something that typically happens overnight.

Thanks to David Ciccarelli, Voices.com!


#2- Various definitions

Photo Credit: Georgette Pascale

Being disruptive is always staying ahead of the curve. Being sharp and nimble is key. Me and my team keep our work groundbreaking by competing with ourselves to produce the best possible product. Also, listening is crucial so you are always learning. The more responsive and proactive you can be, the better.

Thanks to GeorgettePascale, Pascale Communications!


#3-  Way of doing things

photo Credit: Tracy Kawa

Although disruption is defined as a disturbance that interrupts an activity or process, most of the time attention is given to the disruption of a way of doing things (often technologically speaking) which in turn, affects an industry or market. We never really give attention to the disruption of how we see ourselves. For the most part, we believe things like: “That’s just the way I was created.” The word ‘disruption’ is very meaningful to me because I built my entire business on, and now spend my entire career, helping people disrupt the way they see themselves as professionals in business. Once a person realizes the highest use of their skill sets, time and gifts, they can never ‘unsee’ this. Disrupting your vision of yourself by peering into your blind spots and seeing yourself in a full 360°, forces every individual to step up and build upon their highest vision of themselves.

Thanks to Tracy Kawa, Kawa Community Partners!


#4- Anything that impedes or interrupts that flow

Photo Credit: Jack Wang

Everything that’s in motion moves in a natural flow that keeps the order of things. Anything that impedes or interrupts that flow is a disruption. In business, that could mean tension within employees or the ongoing pandemic that’s affected all facets of life.

Thanks to Jack Wang, Amazing Beauty Hair!


#4- Significant action that creates a massive change

Photo Credit: Erik Rivera

When disruption occurs, it creates a ripple effect that not only affects the chosen industry, but all of society using the concept of indirect effects in the economy. The levels of disruption also vary, depending on the influence and impact of the change.

Thanks to Erik Rivera, ThriveTalk!


#5- Radical change

Photo Credit: Dennis Bell

Disruption is a radical change in an industry or business strategy that involves the introduction of a new product and service that creates a new market. It’s a situation in which something cannot operate in the usual way anymore because of a problem. Disruption does not stop. It stays disruptive until something else interrupts it. Just be aware, flexible, adaptable, and always be prepared for changes to be able to protect yourself against things that are going to be disruptive. The key to surviving is anticipating that they’re going to happen and recognizing how to respond to them.

Thanks to Dennis Bell, Byblos Coffee!


#6- A way brands can meet customer needs

Photo Credit: George Kuhn

We’ve been given a taste of evolving technology combined with innovation and personalization, so now we seek out disruption from the brands we consume. Disruption is a way brands can meet customer needs, possibly even fixing a disconnect we didn’t even know existed. Disruptive brands listen to trends and consumers. Even though their customers may report little to no pain points with current features, the most disruptive brands continue to evolve and fill gaps that weren’t so obvious.

Thanks to George Kuhn, Drive Research!


#7- Innovative idea completely reinvents an industry.

Photo Credit: Brandon Monaghan

Disruption is when an innovative idea completely reinvents an industry. It’s when something completely unique is introduced to a market that hasn’t experienced anything like it. The beauty of disruption is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just need the creativity and ingenuity to reimagine it.

Thanks to Brandon Monaghan, Miracle Brand!


#8- Disturbance or problem in conducting an event or activity

Photo Credit: Jitesh Keswani

Disruption is any disturbance or problem in conducting an event or activity. I believe that disruption is inevitable and companies should be prepared with adequate measures for future uncertainties. Talking about business disruption which can be explained with an example of the battle between Netflix and Blockbuster. Blockbuster had no idea that Netflix would take over the market. Blockbuster failed to anticipate the future of watching movies and how streamlining would become the next phase of home entertainment. It continued with the same strategy of DVD-renting customers and Netflix considered the next generation preferences and started earning the brand’s immense profitability. Ultimately, Blockbuster went bankrupt and Netflix is yet earning billions of dollars due to its response to disruption.

Thanks to Jitesh Keswani, e-intelligence!


#9- Inevitable obstacles

Photo Credit: Jason Power

Entrepreneurs make a living off of creativity and ingenuity. But the key is never to take your eyes off the prize. Entrepreneurs and business owners face different disruptions every day — it’s a challenge, but it’s part of the job. Disruptions are inevitable obstacles that should always be accounted for, even though their exact details can never be anticipated. Disruptions are factors that can’t rattle business owners; in many ways, they should be embraced. Understand the distraction and strategize around them on the fly.

Thanks to Jason Power, The Hearing Clinic.!


#10- Idea that creates a solution

Photo Credit: Judson Hill

Disruption is a radically new idea that creates a solution or provides value to a customer base that has been overlooked. If you want to be a disruptor in your industry you first have to start with looking at your own business and it’s structure. Analyze the market and gather data, always have your finger on the pulse when it comes to market shifts. Be willing to pivot and use innovation to your advantage. Changes in industry occur everyday, you have to be prepared to stay ahead of the curve. Building your business model to reflect your ability to use innovation in your favor will propel you to be a disruptor in your industry.

Thanks to Judson Hill, Bespoke Financial!


#11- Shaking the status quo

Photo Credit: Giulio Zecca

Disruption can take many forms and, in essence, it’s an event (or often a series of small events) that shakes the status quo and breaks the patterns familiar to people. It can be an external event, as it happened with the pandemic in early 2020, or a new regulation, or a new product launched on the market; something that radically alters the course of history. In business terms this happens when the market expectations are too high compared to what a company can offer; if you do normal things you will obtain normal results and the “new normal” will make the existing products obsolete.

Thanks to Giulio Zecca, innovAchievers!


#12- Undermining the assumptions

Photo Credit: Rebecca Jones

I define disruption as the process of fundamentally undermining the assumptions which govern a particular practice or industry. For example, prior to Uber and other ride sharing platforms, the assumption which governed the industry is that only licensed taxi drivers could provide taxi or comparable services. Uber and other ride-sharing platforms fundamentally undermined that key assumption by employing their technologies. A company like Tesla is now doing the same with respect to the assumption that automobiles require gasoline. Although the process of disruption has the effect of destroying some practices or industries, it also has the effect of simultaneously revitalizing them by permitting a more advanced and often more socially beneficial practice or industry to flourish in its place.

Thanks to Rebecca Jones, Embossed Co.!


#13- Seizing the moment

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

I would define disruption as seizing the moment to improve and grow when change and challenges happen. This is the time for entrepreneurs and business leaders to be innovative, aware, and strategic. Great disruptors identify new areas where they may learn and grow and use their down time to think and create. This allows for business leaders to maintain a nimble flexibility, which will be extremely beneficial when the next normal happens. These leaders will emerge more aware and ready to hit the ground running with innovative and strategic ideas to improve all areas of business and life.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation!


#13- Value addition

Photo Credit: Trond Nyland

Disruption is a value add that makes the previous way of doing things obsolete. For example, Amazon disrupted the book space by offering more books for less money and delivering them to your home. This was such a big improvement that bookstores quickly became outdated.

Thanks to Trond Nyland, Mattress Review!


#14- Popularizing an underrated product

Photo Credit: Catherine Balsam-Schwabe

A process in which an underrated product or service starts to become popular enough to replace, or displace, a conventional product or service. In “true” disruptive innovation, the product takes root in the bottom of a market — and in many cases, develops a bad or low-class reputation because of it.

Thanks to Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Kindra!


How do you define disruption? 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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