Disruptive Innovation: Product versus Platform

Disruptive Innovation
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Akshay Nirmal
Business Consultant, Australia

Disruptive Innovation: Product versus Platform

DISRUPTIVE PLATFORMS often have a bigger impact than disruptive products. Some examples:
  • Uber owns no vehicle, but is now the largest taxi company in the world.
  • Alibaba has no inventory, but is yet the biggest world retailer.
  • AirBnB owns no real estate, and yet became the biggest provider of accommodation.
Unlike disruptive products, low-end disruptive platforms can change the dynamic of an entire industry. It is more difficult for incumbents to respond to disruptive platforms than to disruptive products. The massive number of people attracted to platforms makes it difficult for incumbents to respond to them.

While DISRUPTIVE PRODUCTS offer new options to buy, disruptive platforms cause societal shifts. They have major effects on people’s lives, how they interact and how they work. For example, they trigger platform-based jobs that many people make a living out.

⇒ What other examples of platform disruption do you know of?

Singh, S. (2012). New Megatrends. Implications for our Future Lives. UK: Frost & Sullivan, Palgrave & Macmillan.
Vazquez Sampere, J. (2016). Why Platform Disruption Is So Much Bigger than Product Disruption. Harvard Business Review, April 2016.

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Platform Disruptor: Google

Google owned no magazine, radio/TV station, but is yet now by far the world's biggest advertising company....

  Rick Mueller
Professor, United States

Disruptive Platforms and Pipes

There's been a lot of discussion on platforms, the most pertinent among which compare them to pipes. PIPES are the tradi...

  Hamza E. M. Salih

Platform Disrutive Food Delivery

All over the world including in Cairo you find so many food delivery services having no restaurants and sometimes even n...

  Osungbadegun Isaac Tayo
Business Consultant, Nigeria

Disruptive Platforms

There has been much disruptive innovation in the banking sector in Nigeria, with the advent of USSD code it is possible ...

  Sanjay Verma
Business, Kenya

M-Pesa in Kenya

I live in Kenya. M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer platform is so successful here that we cannot imagine our daily lives w...

Director, Indonesia

How will Disruptive Platforms Evolve in the Future?

Many business types are changing into simple modern services through an Internet connection. In my view, this business m...

  Paramathmuni srinivas Kumar

A Platform to Enhance Authentic Quality of Experience

A platform which enables to deliver a higher quality of experience to our services and products which is based on follow...

  KOEHL Maryse
Professor, France

Benefits of Disruptive Platforms

Platforms create a new type of distribution, satisfy new needs of customers and bring a break in the processes of sellin...

  Fred Rivera
Student (University), Peru

Worldwide Sales Via Internet

Anyone can sell anything worldwide, without having a store or supplies. That's why these platforms are used by entrepre...

  Joanne Friedman
CEO, Canada

IoT & Blockchains Next

I think we have to be a bit careful about the use of the word "platform" and its definition. If Uber is a platform, the...

Accountant, Kenya

Disruptive Legal Platform

In the US, young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get a legal advice within seconds with 9...

  Bernhard Keim
Business Consultant, Germany

Are Blockchains Platforms?

@Joanne Friedman: I have problems with regards to seeing IoT and Blockchains as platforms. IMHO they are an enabling te...

  Bernhard Keim
Business Consultant, Germany

No Lawyers Anymore?

@Muthini: The problem with systems like Watson is that even a correct answer is not enough if you can't interpret it. D...

  Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Disruptive Platforms

I would consider that 'platforms' of their nature are disruptive, in that they disrupt the 'working mechanism', 'the way...


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