Techdirt Podcast Episode 193: Can Anyone Disrupt The Disruptors?

from the cycles-of-innovation dept

The innovator’s dilemma, and the concept of disruptive innovation, is an idea that sits at the core of a lot of what we talk about here at Techdirt, and it has been embraced by different people in very different ways — though not always good ones. This week, for our final episode of 2018, we’ve got returning guest James Allworth joining the podcast to talk about the growth of disruptors into incumbents, and how they respond to the next wave of disruptors.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 193: Can Anyone Disrupt The Disruptors?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

What bugs me about this episode is the insistence that these companies being so dominant somehow puts them in a precarious position where they can be out-innovated.

Facebook uses its vast resources to acquire what it can and copy what it can’t. It copied Snapchat’s features to Instagram quite fast. The company hasn’t been in a precarious position in ages.

Amazon has the money and resources to eat the costs of drastically undercutting their competitors in e-commerce and retail for long periods of time. No matter how innovative your service is, Amazon can afford to beat you in terms of cost as well as conveninence thanks to their legions of Amazon Prime customers that get free shipping. That strikes me as insanely unfair and anti-competitive. Amazon isn’t in a precarious position either.

From what time period was that anecdote about Windows and phones and making sure that they don’t have as long of a boot time as the desktop? Because around the time of the most recent iteration of Windows Phones, it seemed to me that Windows Desktops booted up pretty fast. Is that the time when you pointed that out to your friend? If so, then that was clearly incorrect information you gave him.

Another note about Windows trying to get into the phone space: In many ways, they did indeed mess up. In other ways, however, their competitors engaged in sketchy practices to trip them up. Google, for instance, gave Microsoft the run-around when MS was trying to develop a YouTube app for Windows Phones, eventually just blocking Microsoft’s app altogether in spite of them complying with nearly everything that Google asked for.

Regarding the idea that something can come along that can use the blockchain to create tokens or some cryptocurrency to ensure privacy and a non-advertising bussines model to compete with Facebook: Well, cryptocurrency is having its crash right now and “but withthe blockchain!” ideas are likely going to be treated with equal scorn.

All-in-all, this podcast episode didn’t convince me that massive companies like Amazon and Facebook are in a “precarious position” where nimble, innovative competitors can run circles around them. All the big companies have to do is snatch them up in an acquisition, or crush them using the sheer number of resources at their disposal.

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