446 - Defining Disruption

Episode: 446

Episode Title: Defining Disruption

Disruption—it sounds negative, but it can actually be a very good thing. Let’s talk about what it means, coming up next on The Perna Syndicate.


Ep 446 show:

Hello! I’m your host Mark Perna—welcome to a new week on The Perna Syndicate! Have you ever heard the word “disruptive” used as a buzzword for success and innovation? Being called a “disruptor” is a badge of honor, but what does it really mean? And how does it play out in the arena of education, workforce, and economic development?


Disruption actually has a very precise meaning in the business world. True disruption, according to the originator of the term, is not simply a company coming in and shaking up the market in a big way. It’s more specific than that. 


In a nutshell, disruption is the process by which a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established, incumbent businesses. 


Often, these established businesses focus on improving their products and services for their most demanding (and usually most profitable) customers. Doing this means they exceed the needs of some segments and ignore the needs of others. 


Smaller organizations, just entering the market, start by successfully targeting those overlooked segments. Doing this at a lower price point gives them a foothold. Incumbents, busy chasing higher profitability in more-demanding segments, tend not to respond strongly. 


The startups then start encroaching on the established companies’ core customer base. When mainstream customers start adopting the new companies’ offerings in volume, that’s true disruption.


So what does all this have to do with education, workforce, and economic development? Tune in tomorrow on The Perna Syndicate to find out how disruption can benefit these fields, too. We’ll see you then!

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