Disruptive technology – part I

22/12/2006

Re-posted from the old blog on Blogspot.

I started this blog with a particular purpose of writing on one interesting technology. It’s called web-to-print. I have a little vested interest in it, but I hope it won’t skew the overall picture.

A very interesting thing I heard this morning. I had thought that web-to-print is an emerging technology. Not any more. They way Zetaprints presented it it’s called a disruptive technology. There is an old (2004), but I believe still valid article in CIO about it.

I’ll try to get someone else explain it here in more details.

That article sets some criteria for a disruptive technology. Let’s see if web-to-print qualifies, according to professor Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School.


Is web-to-print seen as a threat or opportunity?
Depends on how you look at it.
If you blow a few hundred thousand dollars on a monster like EFI – it’s an opportunity. You may or may not utilise it, but it feels good and you can tick that box in your CV before you are fired for wasting shareholders’ $$$.

If you are a small local printer and you go and something basic like printable or even better go and get yourself a web-to-print service at a fraction of a fraction of cost of that EFI monster you become a threat. First of all you are a threat to your immediate competition. Second you become a threat to that large printer that spent all the $$$ on EFI.

Response from the “leaders”
If you are a disruptor they try to replicate you, but what they don’t understand is that it’s not just about the technology. It’s the entire model, the approach, the mindset. It’s about being new and wedging into the existing market. So, they suddenly all decide to go and offer web-to-print services instead of good old sales.
Well, if you are that disruptive technology then they should fail. If you are just an inovation, then they should be able to nick it and the world forgets about you.
Iguess only time will tell.

Is the market overserved?
it’s a tough one …
I have to think about it…

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