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Business and Disruptive Innovations

The existing environment of business and innovation powered by social media and market freedom serves as a catalyst for rapid trend introduction that changes the patterns of customer preferences and opportunities. The existence of disruptive technology is a prime example of such a dramatic change to the business models that emerges quickly and extrapolates to bigger target audiences. Fundamentally, the notion of disruptive technology stands for “the kinds of technology inferior in the main attributes that consumers of mainstream technology valued but focused on some neglected attributes alternatively” (Si & Chen, 2020, p. 3). Hence, this theory presented by Christensen back in 1997 means that the disruption that comes with an introduction of a certain product or service to the market should not always be followed by a technological innovation per se. Instead, it can be the aspect of convenience or aesthetic function that plays a more significant role. As a result, once the product becomes more convenient, more users can reach and use the product, disrupting the trends in the market.

Besides smartphones and personal computers, there are two additional examples of disruptive innovation being used in everyday life. The first disruptive technology concerns the introduction of a video streaming service such as Netflix. This streaming service has once and for all changed the patterns of motion picture and cinematography as an entertainment business segment. There are two major ways in which Netflix has become disruptive. First, it has significantly undermined the value of rental DVD TV shows and movies. Undeniably, there are hundreds of movies available on DVD yet inaccessible on Netflix due to the absence of a license. However, instead of pursuing the movies people like, they choose to pick something from a limited number of options available on a streaming service for a subscription price simply because it has become more convenient.

The second way Netflix has become a disruptive innovation in the entertainment industry is in movie production. A few years ago, Netflix started the process of creating a considerable number of movies that take less time to shoot compared to a conventional Hollywood motion picture. The cost for production, as well as the quality of the ideas and plot, has also become lower compared to traditional shooting. After the introduction of such movies, especially such a large quantity, people have reconsidered their attitude to movie watching, as convenience and number has become decisive factor in choosing Netflix-made movies over full-scale Hollywood productions. Such a choice is not motivated by innovative technology or improvement. On the contrary, the value of the product is added through the convenience and availability factor, making Netflix a disruptive innovation.

Another example is the introduction of Airbnb to the hospitality industry. The ability to present one’s apartment for tourist rent has become a business project that later turned into a full-scale segment of hospitality and tourism management. Undeniably, Airbnb cannot secure an assortment of services as wide as an average hotel, but the choice in favor of the apartments for rent is driven by a variety of choices and cost-efficiency. Another aspect encouraging to choose this service is the concept of intimacy and uniqueness that hotels frequently lack. As a result, Airbnb, while providing less functional value than hotels, became more popular with target customers and disrupted business patterns. Considering the aforementioned examples, it may be concluded that the introduction of disruptive innovation presents a practical value to the customer and makes it more affordable and accessible regardless of the market segment.


Si, S., & Chen, H. (2020). A literature review of disruptive innovation: What it is, how it works and where it goes. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 56. Web.

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