"Phones used to be for calling people..." Disruptive – what exactly does it mean?

There are as many definitions as there are people. Is a business model that changes the industry in which it operates already disruptive, or is that not enough, should it change the market more broadly, including other industries? And does disruptive always have to destroy something? Have you ever thought about it? We have. Even the beach in Los Angeles was not enough to put us off the track.

- Disruptive means that something is changing how we do things. We celebrated the anniversary of the cult Nokia 3310’s creation not too long ago. If someone at the time had thought that the cellphone would be a smartphone and used to make payments, that would have been disruptive. Because this functionality was not unavailable, it simply wasn't within the grasp of anyone’s imagination. Only visionaries can think: we will make something like that out of this Nokia. This is what disruptive means to me – says Marek Kucharski, CEO of Inquise Inc. and INFORMATION DESIRED.

- Because these were categories that didn't exist, that most people didn’t take into consideration. 10 years ago, did you take it for granted that you would have a smartphone on which you could play Empire Puzzle, book hotels, send and receive e-mail and be online for 24 hours a day, available to everyone? – asks Marek.

It's Sunday. It's Los Angeles. We’re at the beach. But we are not relaxing.

- The question is what disrupted it – responds Tom Kuzak, creator of INFORMATION DESIRED, staying on track.

- And where is Nokia now, Tom? Today, Nokia does not exist as a phone manufacturer – Marek points out.

- But is that because somebody disrupted it? Oh! So phones used to be for calling people, and 20 or 30 companies around the world made them, but then someone introduced the smartphone and that made all the others obsolete – says Tom Kuzak.

But was that already disruptive, or was that just innovation? Did smartphones only transform their own industry? No, they also affected other sectors of the economy, not just the electronic hardware market. Smartphones changed everything, since they entered the market, even banks, which are perceived as conservative, began to create projects tailor-made for smartphones.

Let’s look at another example – leasing. Was introducing a new model of car financing disruptive? What about carsharing and car rental on a per-minute basis? And how about using data from Facebook for big data analysis, like Trump's campaign? Was that disruptive?

There are no clear answers to this. The only thing that is certain is that “disruptive” is always an innovation, but not every innovation is disruptive.

See what we – the INFORMATION DESIRED team – think about this. We are on our way to one of the most important conferences in the world right now – TechCrunch Disrupt, which will be held in San Francisco on September 5-7. We are still in Los Angeles because we had several meetings with potential experts who could represent us in California. But we are soon heading out to San Francisco.