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What is disruption and how can it be harnessed?[1]

The phenomenon we call business disruption could benefit from a different name. Although it signifies a disturbance or an interruption in an industry, it’s much more than that.

The nominal definition I work with is that disruption is the “transfer of wealth in an industry from dominant incumbents to disadvantaged entrants.” It’s a convenient definition because it’s brief, it puts the emphasis on economic value and because it alludes to a reversal of fortune and the implied extraordinariness.

However, there are several nuances lost and contradictions ignored in this definition. I want to enumerate them here and now:

  1. Although in a disruption there is a transfer of wealth, that wealth is not necessarily conserved. An industry that undergoes a disruption often emerges larger, more productive or more influential. Disruption typically creates net growth.
  2. Although extraordinary and spectacular it is also very commonplace. Disruption is not rare. In fact, it rarely fails to happen. One could even say that if it does fail to happen, it’s a symptom of an industry in crisis.
  3. Being so common, it can be seen as a regular occurrence. But if the regularity of disruption can be considered to have a clock cycle, its frequency is increasing.
  4. Disruption in the literal sense implies discomfort, displacement and even destruction. But it’s necessary to the health of any economy. The analogy to biology is that death is the most important thing in life.
  5. Although only recently characterized and studied in cases set in the past century, the pattern is evident throughout history.

I’ve offered examples of these consequences or side-effects of disruption but I’ll emphasize once more the example I’m most familiar with. To illustrate the primary definition, the AMP index is a measure of the success of one company relative to a set of peers in the mobile phone industry. It’s the average of four market shares: mobile phone units, smartphone units, revenues and operating profits.

This chart shows the shift in AMP index values for the competitors whose data is public and which make up the vast majority of units sold:

The reversal of fortunes, though not complete, is clearly evident. Motorola and Sony-Ericsson, two of the brands that were a significant part of the mobile phone landscape for more than a decade, have ceased to exist as independent companies. A third, LG, is likely to follow. Nokia, the most successful phone vendor for the decade of the 2000’s is in severe distress at this time, valued barely above book. RIM, a pioneer, is priced below book value and HTC, another pioneer is also looking for a way to remain relevant.

But we have to appreciate that as these valuations evaporated, the market grew both in value and in volume. The overall spending on phones has never been higher. The total profits captured is also growing. By any standard, smartphones are a booming business. Queues form for the latest versions, there are supply constraints and media coverage is almost universal.

We also have to appreciate that the Nokia that is faltering today was itself disruptive when it gained its prominence. In the 1990s the mobile phone market was dominated by Motorola, then by Ericsson. Nokia was a relative latecomer and succeeded by being better in some regards (e.g. the ease of use of text messaging on its phones) but also by being asymmetric. Using logistics and a portfolio approach to the market allowed it to build scale while maintaining margins. Process innovation led to component shortages for competitors and allowed Nokia to build massive distribution. It also allowed it to invest in software which gave it a unique selling point for several years.

Looking into the even more distant past, the mobile phone market has seen several waves of disruption. Going from analog to digital was such a turnover. The companies which were successful with analog (mainly Motorola which supplied not just handsets but infrastructure) were sidelined when global digital standards took root. Integrated European vendors dominated a period when 2G GSM was becoming predominant. Isolated pockets of integrated innovation like iMode in Japan also had mini-booms but were swamped by standardization and the Galapagos syndrome.

And let’s not forget that mobile itself has been disruptive to fixed line telephony. Looking at all telecom, the transitions from fixed to mobile, analog to digital and most recently feature-based to computing-based platforms have all been disruptive, bringing a new set of companies to lead while incumbents fretted.

It should also be noted that these changes are happening more rapidly. The chart above has a five year period. The change from analog to digital took longer. Over 10 years since its inception analog was still dominant. If we look how long it took for mobile to take consumption away from fixed, that process is still ongoing, several decades later. The speed is so slow that some countries have skipped over fixed networks altogether.

With software-defined devices and cloud-based distributed computing the changes will become even more rapid. Even though the user base is expanding to cover nearly the entire global population, the replacement rate of devices means that change in the tools and services people use are limited by supply rather than demand. Supply-based innovation or “the new manufacturing” will probably be the dominance-defining asymmetry of the next decade.

The disruption of mobile phones that Apple has foisted on the world through iOS has caused it to reach a point where it dwarves the values of other companies, not just in the sectors it competes, but in all sectors. Some suggest that Apple is an anomaly and does not reflect the economy. To truly understand the state of the economy, they say, means to subtract Apple from it. But I feel this is exactly wrong. Apple is, through the iPhone and iOS ecosystems, defining this era. Just like Microsoft defined an era of increased productivity through the creation of the “knowledge worker”, or like GM re-defined transportation and the notion of the brand in the 50’s, or like IBM re-defined business process efficiency with automation in the 60’s and 70’s, these companies were not anomalies of their era. They were the eras. They were the locomotives of growth that taught other companies how to operate and the contemporary managers how to manage.

Companies that study Apple today will benefit by understanding how it re-wrote the rules. The anomaly is the norm. The exception is the rule. The times they are indeed a-changin’.

Finally, to put disruption in a historical perspective. I wrote a retrospective on the history of the telegraph as a parable of how disruption could be interpreted to have happened even a century ago. What I hope to do now is to show how, given this set of spectacles, we can see how the fate of nations was determined, in part at least, by the ability of leadership to accommodate disruption.

The case of growth or limits to that growth, the question of integration vs. modularity and the evolution of value chains all have application for regulators, policy makers and political leaders.

The dialogue on this topic will begin in Amsterdam on April 13th 2012, at Asymconf. I look forward to seeing you there.

Notes:

  1. This is the material accompanying the first case discussion at Asymconf. Participants are encouraged to read it before the show.
  • jdsweet

    Fascinating post – mind-boggling numbers as always!

  • http://twitter.com/anths Anthony Sorace

    You mention that disruption doesn’t necessarily conserve value, that it can create it – but what about destroy it?

    I worked for a company on the back end of the mobile world, doing data and financial clearing for providers. Several of us in the company were convinced that the industry was in irrevocable financial decline, based on realities of slowing ARPU growth and margin pressures on carriers (our customers), but that the industry had been sort of propped up by the relatively small number of players (maybe 5 of consequence, globally). At the time, this seemed like a good opportunity for a newcomer to be disruptive by entering at a more natural (lower) price point and attracting customers that way (one or two players were trying to do this, but executing poorly).

    I feel like there are other examples of this – the US long distance telephone business in the late ’80s and early ’90s and the advent of digital photography on most of the then-current film industry come to mind – but I’m curious if you see any particular distinction there. Is this a similar sort of disruption but dependent on the circumstances of the industry, or is there some fundamental difference?

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      When an entire industry disappears, value does seem to evaporate. But another industry usually takes its place. When you consider US long distance you have to also consider what replaced it and although I don’t have the figures, consumption of mobile is far greater than consumption of long distance. It also matters when seen on a global scale. The point being that in a macroeconomic sense, policies which may try to protect in the interest of avoiding disruption may optimize around a local maximum, not a global one. This is not to suggest that there are always positive gains from disruption, but if that disruption is based on innovation, there usually are.

      • Jeff G

         “To truly understand the state of the economy, they say, means to
        subtract Apple from it. But I feel this is exactly wrong. Apple is,
        through the iPhone and iOS ecosystems, defining this era.”

        I have been wondering about the same premise.  Evaluating the economy without all of Apple’s effects, seems like saying the true weight of our body, doesn’t include our head.  Rather, the latter seems of relative importance in the total equation.

        The fact that Apple saves airlines money (by carrying an iPad instead of 40 pounds of documents), or that contractors use them in the field to manage construction and doctors use them in their offices… and sales people use them in presentations, and autistic children use them to interact with etc. etc.  etc.  demonstrates that Apple products are an integrated part of US and growing world economy.  I am still shocked by the amount of disbelief of people who think this is temporary, or a fad, or a fluke. 

        I wish Steve Jobs were here to see this.

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        This is a very good point. The value Apple creates is measured by its profits. That value is not “taken” from the economy. It’s given, in multiples. When a product is purchased the buyer believes they get a benefit in excess of the price paid. That benefit propagates through the economy.

    • http://wmilliken.livejournal.com/ Walter Milliken

      The US long distance case was anomalous because we had a monopoly which artificially inflated the price of long distance to subsidize all its other operations. (Ma Bell was a world leader in creative accounting….)

      When the government broke the monopoly, it was perfectly understandable that there was a rush of newcomers to grab the highly-lucrative long distance market and ignore the mostly-unprofitable and capital-intensive local loop (which wasn’t really opened to competition until later, anyway).

      I should note that I believe there was a similar disruption around the same time on the equipment vendor side, when Western Electric’s stranglehold on producing telco equipment for AT&T was broken, and a lot of newcomers could suddenly build and sell telco switch and terminal hardware. Western Electric was another Ma Bell profit center at the time — the state regulators tended to allow the state-level regulated local components of Bell a profit based on capital equipment costs. So inflating the equipment costs from AT&T’s Western Electric subsidiary (which wasn’t under control of the state regulators) increased overall profit — a win-win for AT&T overall.

      While some of the disruption was technological and innovative, a lot of it, I think, was just due to the convoluted accounting and lopsided economics of Ma Bell at the time. There were strong economic forces there that needed to correct once the monopoly barrier was taken down.

    • Martin KK

      Yes, the destructive power can be severe

      Case in point … Microsoft’s CD based Enclycopedia Encarta disrupted the then $5 billion business of print enclycopedias, in which Microsoft had zero market share … and replaced this with Encarta, which grew to become the entire business … Microsoft ended up with a 100% share of a $100 million dollar business … and Enclycopedia salesmen stopped coming to our front door

      Martin

      • KirkBurgess

        good example.

        To follow on, the internet then disrupted the CDROM based encyclopedia market into oblivion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-DiCanio/100001209861972 Michael DiCanio

        Interesting, I came to your comment literally moments after seeing the front page of the NY TImes: the Encyclopedia Britannica formally announced the end of their paper publishing. It’s official.

  • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

    Horace, let me encourage you to make many more posts along this line. While I am an avid follower of your blog, I do not have any background in disruption theory. I suspect that most, if not all, of your viewership would benefit from a better grounding in the foundations of disruption theory.

    And, as always, thank you for this specific article. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

    • http://chrischelberg.tumblr.com/ Chris Chelberg

      I know that when I started reading Asymco and listening to The Critical Path, I’d never even heard about disruption theory. But I went to my library and have worked my way through two of Clayton Christensen’s books and am deep into his third, and I hold the other two as well. That will help me, but additional case studies and guidance from a professional help immensely I agree.

  • http://twitter.com/sampenrose Sam Penrose

    You might really enjoy the work of Andrew Odlyzko: http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/networks.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Louis-Bertrand-Shalako/1529546512 Louis Bertrand Shalako

    DIsruption invovles transfer of wealth from advantaged to disadvanteged. I’m all for it.

    • http://twitter.com/qka qka

      “transfer of wealth in an industry from dominant incumbents to disadvantaged entrants”

      It seems to me that if wealth is being transferred to some party, they are not disadvantaged. Or at least not for long.

  • Canucker

    The natural conclusion from the observation that disruption is not only common but increasing in frequency is that the long term success of any company is tied to its capacity to lead and benefit from disruption rather than follow and by drowned by it. The natural arrogance of incumbents fosters a natural inertia or resistance to the idea that their dominance will ever ebb and this helps fuel their replacement. Ipso facto, if you are a successful disruptor, you must remain a successful disruptor. If you are not working on undermining and replacing your current profit centres, you are doomed.

    • Iain Perkin

      Agreed! Microsoft looks to the next iteration of it’s products. While many new ideas come out, many seem tentative of late.

      • KirkBurgess

        Microsoft management seems to kill any internally developed disruptive products that threaten its own Windows cash cows.

        If Apple followed the same mentality it would never have released the iPhone because it cannibalised iPod sales.

    • MarkS2002

      He not busy being born is busy dying…
      –Bob Dylan

  • Secular_Investor

    “Some suggest that Apple is an anomaly and does not reflect the economy. To truly understand the state of the economy, they say, means to subtract Apple from it. But I feel this is exactly wrong. Apple is, through the iPhone and iOS ecosystems, defining this era. Just like Microsoft defined an era of increased productivity through the creation of the “knowledge worker”, or like GM re-defined transportation and the notion of the brand in the 50′s, or like IBM re-defined business process efficiency with automation in the 60′s and 70′s, these companies were not anomalies of their era. They were the eras. They were the locomotives of growth that taught other companies how to operate and the contemporary managers how to manage.

    That is exactly right. 

    What is amazing is just how Wall Street and so many of these so called “expert” talking heads, journalists, bloggers and commentators completely fail to understand this.

    • http://wmilliken.livejournal.com/ Walter Milliken

      When you spend your life walking backwards looking at where you’ve been, you tend to stumble a lot….

  • http://twitter.com/AlvisMatlija Alvis Matlija

    Horace, great analysis as always. You have illustrated how Apple has re-defined the industry(ies) (depending on the definition) it is part of. However, not all Apple’s products have been disruptive innovations as many probably think. I would say the Mac is a sustaining innovation, the iPhone is a radical sustaining innovation, while the iPod and iPad are typical disruptive innovations. Would you agree?

    • Iain Perkin

      Alvis,
      I’m curious as to why you match the iPod and iPad as typical disruptive while the iPhone is radical sustaining innovation. I would have put the iPhone and iPad together.

      • http://twitter.com/AlvisMatlija Alvis Matlija

        I am not 100% sure on the iPhone categorization but have a bit of difficulty categorizing iPhone as a ‘new market’ innovation (clearly not a low-cost one). The market for smartphones existed when iPhone launched, its just that Apple drastically improved the experience/performance factor as compared to the competition and leaped ahead a lot in that performance curve. But still that performance curve was there when Apple introduced iPhone.

        Would be interesting to hear a different point of view on this.

      • Kizedek

        From the graph, the performance curve looks similar between three or four companies and Apple, but only for one year (bear in mind Apple was a newcomer starting at zero, with only its own and web apps).

        But from Q2 08 onwards, there is no comparison. Isn’t that when the third party apps on the App Store took off?

        So, the iPhone can indeed be seen as a new market innovation. It’s a computer with a phone attached.

        Handheld computers / PDAs / smart phones just didn’t cut it before. There was a job to do, but nothing really fit. Apple introduced the category 20 years before with the Newton, but Jobs got Apple out of the business until it could be done right. Apple looked at this for a long time.

        In early 2008 you see the final piece falling into place.

        Now you see everyone trying to copy different parts of the puzzle without having all the pieces. The so-called “innovations” or “improvements” that competitors are claiming (larger screens, faster processors, “open”, etc.) are barely sustaining. They just don’t get what it is about Apple products that is innovative…

        Oh, it’s a better UX, let’s try that.
        Oh, wait, it’s apps, let’s try that.
        Oh, wait, it’s quality parts and build, let’s try that (whoops, too expensive).
        Oh, wait, it’s customer service, let’s try that (no, better shove that off to the telcos).
        Oh, wait, I know, it’s marketing, let’s make fun of people queuing for iPhones.
        Oh, wait, I know, it’s Steve Jobs and his RDF, let’s wait till he is off the scene.
        Oh, wait, it’s Apple’s money, let’s sue Apple frivolously.
        Oh, wait, I know what it is, it’s….

      • sscutchen

        It’s gotta be the shoes!

      • Manish Bansal

        How long till Samsung’s CEO starts wearing turtlenecks?

      • poke

        I tend to think of ‘smartphones’ as a short-lived category (similar to netbooks) and the iPhone as something else. The central innovation for both the iPhone and iPad is the multitouch UI. I think both the phone market and the laptop PC market are being disrupted by a single (and entirely new) touch-based mobile device market.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      The iPhone in isolation is a sustaining innovation, but seen as a platform, it’s disruptive to mobile phone vendors. In many ways the innovations behind iOS and iTunes were asymmetric to the consumer electronics incumbents which caused them to be disrupted. The asymmetry is in the business model of using software to differentiate hardware.

  • Walt French

    I’d like to comment on your observation that the rate of disruption is increasing.

    Some of this must be due to the incredible plasticity of the human imagination being coupled with software, the least tangible of all human endeavors. With modern software tools, the distance between an idea and its availability across the planet is incredibly short. Apple seemingly constrains itself by its incredibly fussy hardware designs: not to dismiss them (since I use & appreciate them), but Android might not be a competitor had Apple gone for a lowest-common-denominator design that any factory could gear up for, and churn out, quickly.

    (Would that be the Apple we all know & some of us love? No; different question.)

    On the other hand, the new iPad is an example of Apple leveraging the hardware obstacles. By Apple raising the bar on hardware, it’ll be harder for low- or negative-margin competitors to claim comparable quality. I envision a two-tier market, with Amazon (thanks to its retail subsidizing tablet cost) owning the low-cost tier and Apple owning the top. Disruption theory says that with Apple having brilliantly defined a tablet market — versus a netbook one — it can’t let the bifurcation last too long, and a lower-cost tablet, maybe an 8″ one, should be in the chute. Not so?

    Some of this accelerated change happens in other industries. Say, Finance, where entirely new instruments, based on exotic mathematical relationships, now are the most heavily-traded. These, too, are intangible.

    I imagine an incredible acceleration of all the social/etc aspects of personal computing; Apple’s challenge will be to provide a homey environment for the other hundreds of thousands (millions?) of developer ideas on the planet.

    • http://wmilliken.livejournal.com/ Walter Milliken

      I think some of the acceleration is due to the ubiquity and ease of access to data on the Internet — you can see some of this playing out in the science journals online, for example. The communication loop’s latency keeps getting shorter, and the amount of information one person can access is getting bigger. There are historical precedents as well, with the most obvious being the development of printing and the Renaissance.

      Of course, a major question is whether *more* and *faster* information is *better* information, but even if it only occasionally leads to some new insight, the sheer scale of the parallelism of the human side of the Internet leads to constant ferment of ideas.

      I think another interesting aspect of the Internet is its distanceless nature and the low barriers it presents to access to potential markets; this is probably most notable in software (the App Store being the most stellar example), but I believe it has substantially affected physical goods as well (eBay being an obvious example).

      In essence, everyone is connected to everyone, virtually instantly, and this speeds everything up. Now if we could just manage the resulting complexity….

    • sscutchen

      I think a significant difference between the disruption possible with the iPhone and the iPad is the reliance required for the iPhone on the operators. They have an interest in having a viable competitor to play off against the iPhone, so they have an incentive to push for Android, the only similar ecosystem.

      For the iPad, Apple controls the entire customer experience.  It is like the iPod, but with a device that is significantly more complex and difficult to clone. Zune-be-damned, the competition never caught up the the iPod.  Apple actually was the successful disrupter with the iPhone (and violated the Inventor’s Dilemma in so doing).

      What chance does anyone have for competing successfully with the iPad?  They can nibble the edges with special-purpose devices like the Kindle on Nook.  But this is like selling cameras to compete with the iPhone.  It works to an extent; some people just need a camera.  Apple has a huge technological and ecological lead with the iPad, and is accelerating faster than the competition.

      I think history tells us that there will be a disrupter of Apple.  But I’ll be damned if I can imagine it, unless Apple, at some point post-Ive and post-Forstall and Cook, on on, collapses on its own.

      • Walt French

        Thanks for your thoughts. I totally agree — have kept posting despite little apparent response — that the iPhone demanded the carriers to create Android for what I call their “barefoot and pregnant” model of keeping the uppity hardware types from taking over the value stack. (The fact that we’re not seeing it with Microsoft is testament to how clueless they see Redmond, and that figures into my estimates.)

        But Kindle is doing more than just nibbling. Horace has commented on the head-spinning disruptions in the phone space, going back at least to Microsoft’s partnering with multiple manufacturers to take over the OS stack, Android’s destruction of Microsoft by giving it away for ads, Apple’s 3-product blend into “iPhone.” 

        And the Kindle Fire is the same type of disruption: bundling in maybe a $100 subsidy paid by potential future margins. Amazon understands retailing and I think has strategized wisely; this is a good business model disruption. The jury is still out on execution. I personally think it will eventually work out only middling well for them, because slamming parts together is a bit more work than they think, but less than you argue. Still, they sorta are compelled to try.

        Wifi means that carriers have very little control over the communications value, and in most geographies, it’d be hard to lock customers to a telecomm-provided device. But why wouldn’t Verizon want to offer a Moto XoomDroid LTE tablet for no money down on a $50/month, 2-year contract? Wouldn’t many millions of Android users consider it strongly, especially if they could tether (just) their phone? 

        Why wouldn’t AT&T strike a similar deal for Win8 Nokia or Samsung tablets at a very nice price to Bank of America? I think there are plenty of ways to compete with “deals” besides the el cheapo parts-bin specials that Cook described. It’s as American as Apple pie and GM dealerships.

      • http://michaelkdawson.com/ TrendRida

        Have a feeling that the Fire will implode. GOOG is rumored to be teaming up with Asus to create a more capable 7″ tablet at a lower price point than the Fire. There is a market out there that just wants “cheap” and I believe many of those are the Fire’s target market. However AMZN is reportedly losing money on each sale – how much lower can they reduce price. Especially considering that AMZN is low margin retailer.

  • Jmoskun

    “Even though the user base is expanding to cover nearly the entire global population, the replacement rate of devices means that change in the tools and services people use are limited by supply rather than demand. Supply-based innovation or “the new manufacturing” will probably be the dominance-defining asymmetry of the next decade.”

    I am intrigued by by your notion of “supply-based innovation” but can’t grasp it from this paragraph – can you explain? Are you referring to manufacturing tools & services or end user apps & cloud services? Or something else?

    • berult

      It becomes self-explanatory once you look upon an Apple smart device as a confluence of complex adaptative processes.

      Flat-footed resistance to the pull of encores, hemispherical uplift, starstruck through the neurons of their core, the sui generis complex adaptative system, homo economicus, meets its perfectible match in …revolving door, …microcosmic diplomacy.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      By definition, disruptive innovation is unforeseeable. I cannot offer many clues except to say that it’s likely to involve new financing models, new control structures and new leverage due to scale.

  • Iain Perkin

    I wonder if the iTV is the next disruptive technology that Apple is working on. While everyone speculates about what size the screen will be, Apple is quietly building a system to pry open the present system. Small cheap and invasive!

    • professortom

      I would encourage you to read my thoughts on iTV where I discuss how I see that market playing out for Apple.

  • Davel

    This is your best post yet.

    I will have to retread and think on this.

    Thanks

    • Jeff G

       I vote tied for 1st best post.  With about 27 others of his:)

    • irvingruan

      I’d have to agree. Informative and insightful look into analogous cases with a drop of casual terminology.

  • chano1

    Apple is disrupting market indices too, it seems.

  • http://twitter.com/Alishsayd Alisher

    The mobile operators are being disrupted by Apple too. If you include operator profits on this chart, they’ll probably hover much higher above any single OEM, but given what I’ve read in the news recently, they are all feeling the pain of iPhone-triggered subsidy costs. As such, Apple is eating not only into the hardware/device profit pools, but also the operator profit pools. 
    I think this is fascinating. Operators have had a lock-in on voice/connectivity for 20+ years and internet hasn’t changed that at all. Even with IMS, operators seem to be slow in re-thinking communications. I wonder how internet companies, and Apple in particular could take advantage of the opportunity to transform mobile communications as we know them.

    • Walt French

      Check out Gassée’s latest Monday Note post. The carriers are crying all the way to the bank. They *are* threatened by smartphones — none more than Apple’s — transforming them from Top Dog to Meter Readers with high capital costs, but for now they are living large.

  • KirkBurgess

    I am very interested to see your thoughts on Disruption on a nation wide basis – are we seeing something like this in the Arab spring? and in Al Gores comments about “hacking Democracy”?

  • JZ

    Some people have called AAPL an asset class. Can we view Innovation and disruption as an asset class? Like gold, real estate, stocks, bonds, commodities, and volatilities indexes, AAPL is a liquid investable asset class with little correlation with other asset classes. Sure, there are Venture Capital investments which are driven by innovation and disruptions. but they are not generally available to most investors.
    Tomorrow’s iWall Street conference in LA is perhaps the first ever investors meeting soly dedicated to AAPL.

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  • Howard Ullman

    A thoughtful post.  Industrial disruption in high-tech markets has important implications for antitrust/competition law enforcement, too — high levels of disruption are incompatible with narrow antitrust approaches to monopolization or attempted monopolization.  I’ve blogged about this recently.
    http://www.mydistributionlaw.com.

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  • Victor

    hi horace,

    great post. i have a question:
    – hasn’t Apple beaten Rim and Nokia in a sustaining battle?
    It seems to me that the mobile phone was disruptive to the computer industry what have caused assimetric motivation to incubents like hp, dell and others. Rim and Nokia were going up with the smartphones when an anomaly happened: one of the incumbents, Apple, had disrupted itself without an autonomous organization and placed a sustainig smartphone that reached the mainstream before and is capturing most of the growth and value of the computers disruption. Nokia and Rim, by that time, were in their way to develop the capabilities needed to disrupt the computers (OS, apps, etc) but Apple hasn’t let the time they needed.  

  • Victor

    hi horace,

    great post. i have a question:
    – hasn’t Apple beaten Rim and Nokia in a sustaining battle?
    It seems to me that the mobile phone was disruptive to the computer industry what have caused assimetric motivation to incubents like hp, dell and others. Rim and Nokia were going up with the smartphones when an anomaly happened: one of the incumbents, Apple, had disrupted itself without an autonomous organization and placed a sustainig smartphone that reached the mainstream before and is capturing most of the growth and value of the computers disruption. Nokia and Rim, by that time, were in their way to develop the capabilities needed to disrupt the computers (OS, apps, etc) but Apple hasn’t let the time they needed.  

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