In order to remain afloat in this ever changing market, companies must have a sound proof strategy. According to Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble and Strickland, a company’s strategy is its action plan for outperforming its competitors and achieving superior profitability. (Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble and Strickland p. 4)
One well known strategy or theory of many companies is a term called disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation was coined by Clayton Christensen. It explains the process of a product or service preliminary application initiating from the bottom of the market that replaces an already established product or service.
This theory has created a significant impact on management practices in all types of industries. It has created debates of how “executives and managers are in need of research that will elevate the pursuit of successful innovations from a gut-level, intuition-driven art to something more closely resembling a science based on repeatable processes with predictable results.” (Raynor, p. 27)
In doing so, it has also created a sense of conflict between entrants, incumbents and disrupters to see which organization will remain the top supplier. Innovation is always on the top mind for all CEOs. Understanding how to identify disruptive innovations before they become mainstream and take advantage of the ‘”white space” is a skill to cultivate. Disruptive Innovation patterns are always changing and sometimes are very difficult to see because of it’s rapid growth.
Disruption theory can be used to shape existing innovation ideas in ways consistent with the theory’s prescriptions. As of now the disruption theory of innovation is the only one with evidence to support the assertion that it can improve predictive accuracy. Used to shape existing innovation ideas in ways consistent with the theory’s prescriptions, a particular perspective on innovation – is based on its superior explanatory and predictive power, entrants attacked successful incumbents by adopting the incumbents’ models and technological solutions – what he called a “sustaining” strategy-they tended to fail.
However, driven by their desire to grow, the upstart entrants were strongly motivated to improve their initial offerings in ways that would allow them to compete effectively for the larger, more lucrative mainstream markets. This was the entrants’ “upmarket march,” and entrants that marched upmarket successfully eventually captured the customers that had been the incumbents’ mainstay. Differences: Whatever ambiguities might remain in making the relevant categorizations (incumbent vs. entrant; sustaining vs. disruptive) the data reveal that overall; disruption theory makes better prediction possible.
In contrast, entrants tended to succeed by combining a business model tailored to the needs of a relatively less attractive market – the entrants’ foothold – with an ability to improve their original solutions in ways that allowed them to provide superior performance that incumbents were unable to replicate – the upmarket march In contrast, I make a more limited and modest claim: disruption theory can deliver statistically significant and practically material improvement in the ability to innovate successfully.