Teach A CEO

30 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- A series of events that shake the status quo

Photo Credit: Dan Gray

Disruption is a series of events that shake the status quo. It is something so game-changing that it alters the course of history. Common examples include new regulations, products, and services introduced to the market that provide unprecedented value while opening rifts in the industry. This happens when the market expectations are too high compared to what a company can offer. Exceptionally unique and/or creative ideas make existing products, services, and ideas obsolete this is disruption.

Thanks to Dan Gray, Kotn Supply!


#2- Sideroad along the main road

Photo Credit: Dave DiGregorio

Disruption is that little sideroad that is created along the stretch of the main road, leading you down a new path and opening up the road to something unique. It’s a disruption to your travels down a popular road or journey. In business, this side road is created off of the main path to offer new variety, a fresh version, or something different entirely that is doing the same thing – but better or at a cheaper price. It’s a change of pace.

Thanks to Dave DiGregorio, Blue Streak Digital!


#3- Unprecedented opportunity

photo credit: Faisal Hoque

The collision of the four drivers of change the Fourth Industrial Revolution, COVID-19, climate change, and misinformation offers an unprecedented opportunity to the individual. The individual has been moved to the powerful role of consumer—the end-user who wields the capacity and influence to impact and transform in multiple sectors, most notably: work, health care, and varied forms of collective, and community involvement.

Thanks to Faisal Hoque, SHADOKA!


#4- Challenging the status quo

Photo Credit: Chad Brinkle

Disruption is not just about creating something new, it’s about changing the way we do things and challenging the status quo. Disruption can be seen as an intense form of innovation where one company or product changes an entire industry or market by being better than existing products or services or providing a very different experience. Being disruptive is about understanding the needs of the market, and then delivering technology or services that generate value for customers.

Thanks to Chad Brinkle, High Country Offroad!


#5- Innovation

Photo Credit: Yukee Will

Change is inevitable when it comes to business, but some changes are way more significant than others. As a founder, these are what disruptions are for me. Disruptions are innovations that can radically change the market or transform business models. These are new products or processes that have the ability to change how we perceive or do things in business.

Thanks to Yukee Will, Everwallpaper!


#6- Embracing change

Photo Credit: Chris Gadek

Disruption is embracing the change your competitors steer clear of. Cryptocurrency is just one example of an advancing technology driving social change. While many of us have the assurance that our paychecks are deposited into our bank accounts, there are more than 3 billion people across the globe who do not have access to reliable banks. While it's vital for companies to keep up with the latest innovation, ensuring it aligns with what consumers want provides a top-notch customer experience.

Thanks to Chris Gadek, AdQuick!


#7- Not taking no for an answer

Photo Credit: Maria Shriver

Disruption means not taking no for an answer. While you may believe wholeheartedly in your business idea, not everyone else will.  After a string of people passed on starting a venture together, I saw it as an opportunity to empower myself and bring forth my idea on my own. Steaming ahead to get an innovative product into the marketplace is how you get people thinking differently about their needs while growing a community around them.

Thanks to Maria Shriver, MOSH!


#8- Removing inefficiencies

Photo Credit: Max Whiteside

Disruption occurs when a broken or inefficient old method of doing things is still tolerated by society, often because it is governed by antiquated enterprises or governments. You eliminate those inefficiencies and give people something they never imagined was actually possible, and in turn, you unexpectedly amass a sizable following, rendering the conventional business models obsolete in a very short period of time while having a profound impact on many people's lives and generating its own ecosystem.

Thanks to Max Whiteside, Breaking Muscle!


#9- An unconventional idea

Photo Credit: Shaunak Amin

Being disruptive means using that one unconventional product you believe in to pivot your business into a new direction. While one idea isn't taking hold in the marketplace today, it may over time as it gains traction with consumers. This change can be due to a number of factors including lower costs or increased accessibility. And though copycat brands may spring up and evolve your idea into expanded offerings at higher costs, they are merely over-priced imitations.

Thanks to Shaunak Amin, SnackMagic!


#10- Changing the rules

Photo Credit: Mila Garcia

Disruption is essentially the act of changing the rules of competition within an industry by doing things differently. It can mean stripping away a product's complexity to provide people with a significantly more streamlined or intuitive experience. In this respect, disruption can be synonymous with innovation because when businesses become complacent, disruptors are those who come along and fix problems that the old guard failed to realize were even there, to begin with.

Thanks to Mila Garcia, iPaydayLoan!


#11- Introducing new technology and business models

Photo Credit: Jason Cordes

When firms are introduced to new technology, business models, or services that appear unneeded initially but subsequently become important, this is referred to as disruption. Any organization that still uses manual procedures cannot compete with the operational efficiency, precision, and yield that automation solutions bring to most modern businesses. Disruptive Innovation occurs when new products begin at the bottom of an established market with a bad image but gradually gain popularity.

Thanks to Jason Cordes, CocoLoan!


#12- Break in the status quo

Photo Credit: Dan Potter

Disruption is a break in the status quo. With the root of “-rupt” from the Latin for “break,” disruptions can signal a dramatic change in routine. However, the innovative disruptions of entrepreneurship need to have a creative force of redirection with their breaks from the established structures. Disruptions need to improve upon traditional forms. Disruptions need to improve society and the world if they are to break from the old ways.

Thanks to Dan Potter, CRAFTD!


#13- The advent of innovation

Photo Credit: Nathan Watson

Adapting to disruptions is often challenging due to the amount, speed, and most likely permanence of change. Disruptive innovation and the turbulence that comes with it are necessary for businesses to remain viable and move forward. As a concept, disruption is defined as the process of new market entrants using unconventional business models to replace the incumbents in their field, which initially seem to be poor-performing products that ultimately end up challenging them.

Thanks to Nathan Watson, Lion Locs!


#14- The necessary and irreversible tsunami

Photo Credit: Morgan Lilker

Disruption is the necessary and irreversible tsunami that changes the face of, and the way we do, business at regular and semi-regular intervals. It’s the manifestation of the desire by the few to alter the course of a staid and tired market in order to force it to catch up and keep pace with the rapidly evolving ideas that should and can fuel commerce in the digital age. And without it and those responsible for manifesting it, we’d all be floundering around in a bloated business ocean.

Thanks to Morgan Lilker, Watches of Today!


#15- Radical departure to shake things up

Photo Credit: Paige Arnof-Fenn

To me, disruption is about a radical departure to shake things up and upset the status quo. When successful it is about transforming something into a new and improved state. Disruption is part of the entrepreneurial process so if it makes you nervous you should consider another career path. It is about change for the sake of progress, stepping out of your comfort zone, and pushing the boundaries to advance thinking and move forward. If you are not willing to change we would stop learning and growing so disruption is essential to our longevity I think.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!


#16- Creative breakthrough

Photo Credit: Eliana Levine

As a CEO, I see disruption as a way of the business world similar to nature's law of change. I would describe disruption as a creative breakthrough that changes the market overnight, redefining consumer expectations and market needs and addressing the ignored pain points of customers. Disruptions are positive innovations that revolutionize the market, adding value and forcing other companies to adapt to the new consumer demands.

Thanks to Eliana Levine, FindPeopleEasy!


#17- Innovation and progress

Photo credit: Jensen Lee

Disruption is a term that has been thrown around in the tech industry for decades. It's often used to describe the process of a new product or service disrupting an existing market. Disruption can be defined as the process of a new product or service disrupting an existing market.  Sometimes, it can also mean taking away the market share from an established player in that particular industry. Disruption is typically seen as positive and often leads to innovation and progress in various industries.

Thanks to Jensen Lee, bidetsPLUS!


#18- Innovation and imagination  

Photo Credit: Amar Vig

Entrepreneurs rely on their innovation and imagination to survive. But the secret is to keep your focus on the goal at all times. Every day, numerous interruptions are faced by entrepreneurs and business owners; it might be difficult, but it is a necessary part of the job. Even though it is impossible to predict exactly how they will occur, disruptions are unavoidable challenges that must constantly be taken into consideration. Business owners can't be alarmed by disruptions, they should welcome them.

Thanks to Amar Vig, London-fs!


#19- Break in the regular flow of some activity

Photo Credit: Alice Smith

In general terms, disruption is a break or stop in the regular flow or continuation of some activity or process In business terms, however, any sector-specific invention fundamentally and permanently alters how all businesses in that industry conduct business. Businesses that are disruptive, or disruptors, successfully compete against industry heavyweights and long-standing enterprises posing a very serious threat especially if they have come up with a cheaper way to produce or acquire capital.

Thanks to Alice Smith, Cicinia!


#20- Innovation with massive change

Photo Credit: Tracy Acker

A very common usage is to refer to a large-scale innovation involving massive change. While it is commonly used to denote a massive change in technology, it is also assumed that such a massive change will result in the displacement of an incumbent firm. This assumption is incorrect because large and dominant firms are frequently not disrupted by a massive change in technology. Nonetheless, the term disruptive is frequently used to refer to significant (as opposed to minor) innovation.

Thanks to Tracy Acker, GetPaydayLoan!


#21- Finding the right opportunity

Photo Credit: Daniel Cabrera

My definition of disruption is finding the right opportunity. The industry is stagnant, which creates an opportunity for growth and innovation. We have a dedicated system for identifying opportunities and don’t just throw arrows aimlessly in the dark. Firstly, we go through a list of problems our industry faces. Once we recognize hurdles, it becomes easier to navigate towards an opportunity. We don’t just implement the upgradation across the company but have managers assess the long-term feasibility of such a move.

Thanks to Daniel Cabrera, Sell My House Fast San Antonio!


#22- Taking risks

Photo Credit: Rowena Kelley

I define disruption as something that makes you take risks to bring about change. You cannot disrupt an industry by staying in your comfort zone. As hard as it may sound, you must take risks and face challenges head-on. This does not mean that you throw all caution to the wind; instead, you must evaluate and analyze the outcome of the risk and then make an informed decision. This will allow you to develop unique and innovative ideas that lead to disruption. Your risks can go a long way in letting the company progress.

Thanks to Rowena Kelley, Riskified!


#23- New designs or strategies to beat the competition

Photo Credit: David Reid

The meaning of the disruption is a disturbance in literature. But, in business, it contains a different meaning, but the sense remains the same. In business, disruption is a process that contains any model or strategy to overcome or defeat the existing model or strategies. Disruption is a part of business competition. It is called disruption when any organization designs any model to beat their competitors. Disruption is a very normal act in businesses. Every organization develops cheap products to beat its competitors.

Thanks to David Reid, VEM Group!


#24- The ability to cope with the new reality

Photo Credit: Span Chen

As a karate enthusiast, disruption comes when I have to learn new skills and teach my trainees and this is due to the evolving world. Learning is continuous and when I think I’m satisfied with the training and pass the same down to the trainees, I will discover new skills to be learned and I will course retraining for instructors and also add to the skill of the trainee. Disruption is the ability to cope with the new reality.

Thanks to Span Chen, Thekarateblog!


#25- Learning and relearning

Photo Credit: Scott Keever

Disruption occurs when you are forced to learn and relearn everything you previously knew. It is an incentive for innovative people to brainstorm and come up with something new that reinvents an industry. We have seen over the years how companies like Uber and Airbnb have completely transformed how people view commuting and traveling. Hence, disruption motivates entrepreneurs to create something that was never thought possible.

Thansk to Scott Keever, Scott Keever SEO!


#26- Reevaluate the way we think

Photo Credit: Loran Marmes

I think in the past two years the understanding of disruption has expanded significantly. Prior to 2020 many of us associated disruption with a pivotal shift in technology. But the pandemic disrupted everything, driving a massive shift in the way the global workforce operates. Disruption is when we have to reevaluate the way we think and the way we work – even the way we live. Shifting to remote work, freelance platforms, and hybrid work models.

Thanks to Loran Marmes, Medicare Solutions Team!


#27-  Bypassing traditional slow methods

Photo Credit: Jonathan Green

Disruption is finding a way to bypass traditional slow methods of delivering products and services to your customers. Anything that can increase the speed of delivery will come with a decrease in costs. The shift to online-only banks means that customers can get the banking products they need without the fees that are used to pay for all those buildings. Currently, we are focused on disruptions in the education space that allow students to learn what they need to start a business without spending four years paying for a traditional and overpriced college.

Thanks to Jonathan Green, ServeNoMaster!


#28- Thinking outside the box

Photo Credit: Lindsey Hyland

Disruption is introducing a new product, service, or process that creates a new market and value network, eventually displacing an earlier technology. It often occurs when a new company realizes that an industry is ripe for change and launches a more efficient or innovative product or service. This could be something as simple as introducing a new product or service that is more efficient or innovative than what is currently available. Disruption is all about thinking outside the box and finding new ways to do things that can have a big impact.

Thanks to Lindsey Hyland, Urban Organic Yield!


#29- Reconsidering and rethinking things

Photo Credit: Dawood Khan

Disruption is about reconsidering and rethinking things. And as a CEO, I consider disruption as a necessary part of a business journey. I define it as another chance. Disruption being about changing and improving things that used to be usual is like having another chance to introduce and offer something better to the people. This chance that came from re-assessments and rethinking our past decisions lets us be more wise and aware through experiences and gained knowledge.

Thanks to Dawood Khan, Pixelied!


#30- Introduction of new technologies

Photo Credit: Adam David Jones

Disruption is the introduction of new technologies which fundamentally change the way society functions. These could be the development of iron tools, the utilization of canvas sails, the printing press, or the internet. All disruptive technologies brought a new power structure and affected the entire world, albeit more slowly in some places. If an invention does not upend the social hierarchy of knowledge, money, politics, or others, it is not disrupted. Likely then, it is an innovation built from a real disruptor.

Thanks to Adam David Jones, Zeer!


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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