What is disruptive innovation?
Disruptive innovation occurs when a new product or process shakes up the status quo. The invention makes goods and services more affordable and accessible. And that combination drives sales.
Customers switch from rival products or become first-time users. You might even see a startup leapfrog older companies that had felt safe and dominant.
Business school professor Clayton Christensen coined the term in 1995. His model involved companies starting out by targeting less profitable parts of the market ignored by incumbents.
But people now use the phrase more broadly. And it’s common to hear talk of world-changing companies like Google, Tesla, Moderna and Netflix pioneering disruptive innovation.
You can also see signs of it in other lesser-known companies we invest in, whether they’re using gene-editing technologies to create new cures or finding clever uses of AI to drive ecommerce.
Find out more about future disruptors and some of the innovations they’re developing in the articles below.
Baillie Gifford Disruption Week
We have hosted two webinar series focused on sectors experiencing rapid change and our investments in related companies with the potential for long-term growth.
The events were live-streamed in October 2021 and June 2022.
You can watch and read summaries of the sessions via the links above or access the recordings and their transcripts below.
Disruption Week 2022
The Future of Entertainment with Robert Wilson
The companies competing for our leisure time and the firms providing technologies that enable them to do so.
De-carbonising the Global Economy with Paulina McPadden
Investment opportunities arising from the falling cost of renewables, new energy storage solutions and the need to reduce CO2.
A Retail Revolution with Rio Tu
Why China’s shopping apps may herald the future of ecommerce.
Learning from Academia with Dr Eve Hepburn
How Baillie Gifford’s conversations with academics play into investments and shape our thinking.
Disruption Week 2021
The Biological Revolution with Rose Nguyen
A convergence of technologies is letting biotech firms disrupt how drugs and vaccines are made.
Digital Payments Platforms with Gemma Barkhuizen
New types of transactions and ecommerce services are being enabled by innovative fintechs.
The Future of Mobility with Thaiha Nguyen
From battery-powered cars to flying taxis, life on the move is set to change.
Sustainable Food and Agriculture with Lee Qian
Vertical farms, plant-based proteins and smart tractors could disrupt what you eat and drink.