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Little more than 5 or so years ago, who would have imagined that access to our favorite television shows via mobile phones or tablets would be something we couldn’t live without. To me this is an example of an emerging technology that would have seemed unimportant in the past. Before it was commonplace to have unlimited data plans it would have been unaffordable for most people to even consider streaming a 30-minute episode or more over a 2 – 3-hour movie on their mobile devices. For example, the concept of streaming videos did not begin with Netflix in 2007, instead it began in 1998 with Hongkong Telecom’s interactive TV (iTV), not to be confused with the Apple product of the same name. It ultimately was unsuccessful as it was too ahead of its time and consumers just couldn’t wrap their heads around all of its capabilities. (Smith, 2017). However, when streaming services were launched by Netflix they met with success. The success of Netflix and their deliverable DVD’s had already rocked the movie rental industry. When they launched their streaming service, it was a final nail in the coffin for companies like Hollywood Video in 2010 and Blockbuster Video in 2013. (Bailey, 2016) From there, more and more companies began offering streaming services, like Direct TV Now and HBO Go. As they progressed, the services started to become available on our smartphones and other mobile devices. Not only that, but we can stream their services to our Smart TVs, and now bypass cable companies altogether. As we can see, the emerging technology of streaming is claiming yet another victim; while cable companies are venturing into the streaming industry, it is likely we will see some of them vanish when it becomes evident they aren’t as nimble or inexpensive as only paying for the streaming services you want to watch. Factors in corporations that lead mid-level employees to ignore or kill disruptive technologies include other financially attractive lucrative opportunities that they prefer to pursue as they are in more alignment with what their organization has done in the past. Disruptive technologies are hard to get behind as they differ from an organization’s norms. Another is the tendency for established organizations tend to want to mold a disruptive technology’s capabilities to meet existing demands of customers, whereby instead they should be looking for a new market for the disruptive technology to reach. Well-managed companies should move away from how they have managed disruptive technology in the past and change their practices and policies to place importance on developing disruptive technologies. And in doing so they should also focus on developing the technology’s for new markets and not continuing to force them to meet the current demands of existing customers. (Christensen, 1997). As far as when to develop a product or when to aggressively put it on the market, I would defer to the 9 principles of innovation from Marissa Mayer as presented by Chuck Salter in his article from 2008. At Google, it is important to prototype quickly and improve from iteration to iteration, similar to the ideas put forth by IDEO. Once it is aligned to the majority of the consumers wants, then it would be time to aggressively pursue marketing your product. Waiting too long would mean potentially losing being the first to market. Additional improvements can be made in future versions of the product as consumers continue to provide feedback. (Salter, 2008)


Successful companies can fail when confronted with disruptive innovation. Clayton Christensen explains this in his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by focusing on sustaining innovation and by being a disruptive innovator. Sustaining innovations improves the product’s performance based on the features valued by mainstream customers aiming for more speed and power. Disruptive innovation involves lower performance in many product features in a niche market, that typically has been neglected by current market offerings, using unproven opportunity to build the future of a company. A perfect example of this can be smartphones. When smartphones were first introduced the camera quality was not all that great because we were not using our phones for pictures as much but if you forward to today’s world – our smart phone cameras are a part of our lives and we use it mostly daily. With that, the camera has evolved, and has made a whole new line of accessories readily available for just that one feature of your phone. A current innovation that has streamlined rapidly are “specialized subscription boxes” that are delivered to your home each month. These boxes can come in a variety of products for men, women, dogs, cats, offices, etc. “Subscription boxes vary in both cost and frequency, making them more accessible to a greater range of customers with different socioeconomic backgrounds. These boxes range from $10 to $100 (Wikipedia, 2018).” I believe this type of business is thriving due to being diverse and fun! Sometimes decisions are hard to make so when you can get a few small “surprises” each month of something you will use – it keeps your mind excited and you eager to get your subscription based on the many options available. It’s important to keep in mind the diverse and inexpensive subscription boxes there are out there because you never have to commit to a specific box – giving you free range to shop around at any time for many items. “Companies fails because they are well managed (Christensen, 1997).” This is because “given the smart market size and unappealing characteristics of a disruptive technology, a successful company can’t dedicate resources to small and unproven offerings (Li, 2016).” Companies deny and forget to take chances because they believe the innovations don’t make sense in the short term, but they should be allowing top executives to have the opportunity to develop niche markets, so that they stay relevant, ensuring the longevity of their business. If they are not adapting and alert to customer needs, they may fall behind and ultimately crumble to the niches forming taking their place in the market. Managers should keep track of their own segments market trends. In doing so they will be able to notice any changes in the market and be able to adjust to stay on top of what is current. This monitoring process will make it more easy and helpful in making plans to move forward if they are sure to be keen on potential negatives and allow key associates a set budget to react to market trends.


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