Published on Feb 15, 2016

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There was a time when the disruptive among us were either at the back of the classroom or in detention. These days disruptors are at the forefront of innovation.

Disruptive buisness behaviourDisruption might be the latest buzz word, but the concept has been around for 20 years. The creator of the theory, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says disruption “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.”

Essentially, a disruptor looks at how things are currently done and comes up with a way to do them better. This can be through offering a completely new format or product, like Apple and Netflix.  Or, like Canva and Acorn, by offering an existing product more affordably, conveniently, or to an underserved market.

While nearly all disruption is based in technology, you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to take the principles of disruption and apply them in your own business.

You can—and should—consider disrupting your own business.  Take a good look at your customer base and change processes, expand product offering, or add new services to better cater to their needs.

Consider adding a technology-based selection criterion to your next hire to make sure your business stays up-to-date with the latest IT developments.

New disruptive companies

Acorns

More than 26,000 people have downloaded the Acorns micro-investment app since its December 2015 Australian launch.

Acorns takes your digital loose change and turns it into an investment portfolio. When you make a credit card or eftpos purchase, Acorns rounds your purchase up to the nearest dollar and invests it in one of five managed funds.

Acorns is considered disruptive because it has removed minimum investment amount requirements and opened up the market to everybody with a credit or debit card and 50 cents to spare.

Canva

An Australian-based company, Canva is a no skills needed free online graphic design application that—for the most part—does away with the need for expensive and intricate programs like Adobe InDesign.

With nearly eight million users signed on in less than three years, it’s struck a chord with the market. It’s given businesses with little or no design budget or confidence the opportunity to create high quality marketing materials.  Hundreds of templates can be customised including social media banners, posters, menus, presentations and even business cards.

The company has caught the attention of former Apple and Google execs who have either joined or heavily invested in the company.

Click here to hear technology expert Peter Marks talk more about disruption in the financial technology sector.

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Topic: Business, disruption, innovation