Disruptive innovation. Literally, it is an innovation that changes the game. Today Matteo Persivale in the Corriere della Sera talked about “creative destruction”, albeit he noticed that the English word does not have the same negative meaning that the Italian word has. Destruction does not necessarily imply a reconstruction, disruption does.

In line with a recent post, published some weeks ago, in which I quoted Ray Wang and his book Disrupting digital business, I wondered: is it still innovation if it is super structured, too expensive and basically unnecessary? Perhaps yes, but it is much further from the customer than disruptive innovation.

Clayton Christensen, the professor at the Harvard Business School who coined the term disruptive innovation, talks, in fact, of the kind of innovation that starts from the bottom of the pyramid, earning shares of the market step by step until it takes on a dominant position and influences other competitors.


According to Christiansen, the advantage of small companies who practice disruptive innovation is that they tend to develop sustainable and low-cost innovations, in line with the needs of people who are underserved. Costs decrease and profits increase accordingly, and they start to climb the pyramid of success.

It is no coincidence that Apple, Microsoft and Google did the same and in less than 40 years actually “built” the Internet and routed all competitors.

Disruptive innovation stems from the ingenuity and creativity of those who properly address the needs of the consumer. It is  jugaad: simple, flexible, effective and it creates value.

KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. This is the imperative (used in the US Navy in the 60s) of our times, dominated by resource constraints and increasing needs.

Keep it simple, increasing the value for a wider number of customers. Young and smart companies are ready to take on this challenge, and bigger companies had better keep on track.