nine patterns of disruption


Discover the nine patterns of disruption

Anticipating the unexpected approaches that could reshape your industry

​Disruptive innovation doesn't just happen at random. History shows that it’s possible to identify specific patterns of disruption—disruptive strategies that, when combined with certain marketplace trends, can topple industry incumbents.

Deloitte Patterns of Disruption

Are you prepared to respond to disruption?

Leading incumbents perpetually face the risk of being displaced by new entrants using new technologies, business models, or approaches to capture marketplace leadership. Are there ways for incumbents to recognize the potential for disruptive strategy in advance?

Patterns of disruption: Anticipating disruptive strategies in a world of unicorns, black swans, and exponentials explores how disruption manifests under various conditions and how those conditions challenge even the most successful companies to respond effectively to the new technologies reshaping their markets.

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Explore the patterns of disruption case studies

Connect peers: Leveraging the evolving digital infrastructure to empower the edge
Richer connectivity and new mechanisms for trust and governance will likely shift the balance of power from incumbent hubs and hierarchies, which have historically captured value by controlling the flow of information, to peer-to-peer networks characterized by transparency.

Case Studies: Music Industries | Open Bazaar | Git

Unlock assets from adjacent market: Cultivating opportunities on the edge
Today, a business can be a major transportation-for-hire company without owning any vehicles, or offer travelers accommodations worldwide without owning any hotels. How are companies like these using adjacent markets—and are they making traditional, capital-intensive business models obsolete?

Case studies: Uber | Airbnb | Energy storage

Align price with use: Reducing up-front barriers with usage-based pricing 
Today, pay-per-view isn’t the only thing you buy on a per-use basis. Companies are now offering usage-based pricing on everything from cars to car insurance, giving them rich insight into how, when, and where customers use products, threatening to upend traditional business models where revenues depend on ownership.

Case studies: Salesforce | IaaS

Turn products into product platform: Providing a platform for others to build upon 
Rather than focus solely on guarding information, creators of product platforms balance the need to protect intellectual property with the value that can be created by allowing third-party innovators to build on the core product to meet a wide range of needs.

Case study: Andriod

Shorten the value chain: Transforming the stages of value delivery 
The changed economics of value delivery can challenge the viability of incumbents with long, complex value chains. New technologies are allowing marketplace entrants to eliminate whole stages of the value chain, often dramatically reducing capital and infrastructure costs.

Case studies: Kodak | Dell | IKEA

Unbundle products and services: Giving you just what you want, nothing more 
Products like newspapers and pop-music albums—once thought to be the smallest viable unit of sale—are now being disaggregated into their component parts, thanks to new technologies that change the economics of production and distribution.

Case studies: iTunes | Craig’s list | WhatsApp

Expand market reach: Connecting fragmented buyers and sellers—wherever, whenever 
By making more products available to a larger audience, technologies such as the Internet are making it possible for organizations to fulfill the “long tail” of demand, disrupting incumbents that rely on high-volume sales of relatively few items.

Case studies: Amazon | Indie music | Netflix

Converge products: Making 1 + 1 > 2 
“Bundling” functions from formerly distinct products into a single offering can give customers a more economical and convenient way to access those functions—which can disrupt those making and selling specialized products.

Case studies: Qualcomm | Smartphones

Distributed product development: Mobilizing many to create one 
Using collaboration and information-sharing technology, organizations today can mobilize a multitude of third parties to help develop products and services, potentially leaving less innovative competitors behind.

Case studies: Wikipedia | TripAdvisor | PortalPlayer

Disruptive innovation doesn't just happen at random. Center for the Edge has identified potential patterns that, when combined with certain marketplace trends, can topple industry incumbents. Explore the patterns and corresponding case studies on the right.

Patterns of disruption

Patterns of Disruption podcast

Why are potentially disruptive forces so hard to see? And how can executives make sense of the endless headlines on the subject? John Hagel and John Seely Brown spoke with Tanya Ott on how executives might need to change their lens to identify patterns of disruption.


Listen to the Patterns of Disruption podcast

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