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How to think about Disruption



Every startup is trying to disrupt. The common belief is that something can be created that will alter people’s behavior, change a market, and trigger new usage. Every startup is looking for that shift.


Let’s start with a statement. I personally do not believe in disruption as a shift, I believe in technology trends and market evolution. I do not think that disruption occurs quickly and rapidly like magic.


If you created a technology startup, you might believe that what you are building can permanently change things. You see that market problems are poorly addressed, and you think you can push out the incumbent. The reasoning is often to build a first feature that might open the door, and then with time, add functionalities to make the solution even more relevant to the point where the old solution is replaced. Think of Netflix with streaming from your home, but with little catalog in 1997, against Blockbuster with a large catalog but you had to go to the store. As Netflix grew the catalog Blockbuster became irrelevant. That’s how disruption occurs, right? Not so fast…


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