Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Disruptive technologies. Business killers or business generators.

Among the articles recommended for this week, we found some commonalities, the disruptive role of 3-D printing for (some years ago) unimaginable applications, and the disruption (caused by this and other technologies) on older business models.

For instance, 3-D printed planters present a huge advantage in time and cost for patients (customers) but many people involved in the "traditional" treatment and orthopedics elaboration have their jobs threatened. "the radical ways technological innovations are now entering the market, often appearing as better and cheaper alternatives to existing goods, right from the start.    The impact of such disruptors on incumbents and their industries can be devastating".

Another -by far- more complex case, has been represented by the music industry. The internet and the digital formats where the breeding ground for a surge on piracy, that ended up with new distribution channels and business models, on which many actors found new opportunities, but traditional Music labels and industry leaders disappeared or lost most of their "ancient" power.

(source: http://arobinaday.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/the-structure-of-the-music-industry/)

“Personal-fabrication technologies present an opportunity for our nation to continue to lead the rest of the world in manufacturing, but in a new way.” says Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits.

The surge in start-ups is facilitated by venture capital, less available to established companies. The first ones can take advantage of the latest innovations as soon as they appear. But existing companies have a hard time adapting.

It's easy to be a technology fan, to applaud innovation when we get the benefits as a final customer or participating in the new business model.

But, what if we have invested on an start-up attempting to mount the last an highest wave in technology, and suddenly our investment is threatened by a new technology that makes our recent investment obsolete?.

The obsolescence cycle of some technology-driven capital assets has recently ranged from too short to unpredictable short. I want to put 60K on a 3D printer for a business idea with a huge potential. The outcome requires some post-processing... If the next generation of printers eliminates that post-processing, any new competitor can just take my idea, make it better, sooner, cheaper for final customers... and take me out of the business before break-even....

Make Your Own Products: 3D Printing Reaches Consumers

Big Bang Disruption: The "Internet Of Things" Takes Off, Gradually And Then Suddenly

The Kitchen-Table Industrialists

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