Disruptive titling

InformationWEEK is an IT magazine that sometimes displays astonishing ability to not get it. This article is a case in point. Not so much the article – it is basically a description of five new "hot" technologies that in my view are, at best, lukewarm – but the title.

To make it clear: A technology is not disruptive because it is new. It is not disruptive because it might displace the currenlty used technology. It is not disruptive because it comes suddenly on the market.

A technology is disruptive if it replaces an old technology by adressing an unmet need in the market in such a way that the incumbent technology cannot compete because doing so would invalidate the business model of the incumbent technology. This is normally because the new, disruptive technology is worse than the old technology (according to the old measures), because the most valuable customers don’t want it, and because it would be less profitable for the incumbent companies to offer it.

None of the five technologies listed here qualifies according that those criteria. In fairness to the writer, David Strom: He doesn’t use the term "disruptive" anywhere in the text. That moniker has, I assume, been slapped on by some clueless editor with an urge to use fancy words. Too bad. But not the first time for InformationWEEK.

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