Blog Post

The Five Digital Disruptions

Digital disruption is happening all around us. Music, Movies, Telephone, … it all is being digitized, chopped, assembled and reassembled by us.

Between Tivo/PVR functionality (now integrated into one chip), P2P file sharing platforms, Hi-Def. TV, BitTorrent, broadband Internet, falling HDD costs, rising CPU power, we’re seeing a confluence where entertainment should continue to be interesting and challenging for both the content providers as well as us the customers. [PVR Blog]

I had a chance to chat with Bob Bailey, chief executive of chip maker, PMC Sierra, and we got talking about the disruptions being caused in the technology food chain. Bailey gave me his five digital disruptions that are going on presently in the world, and how they are creating opportunities and at the same time destroying some old industries.
As you might notice, that this list is missing two critical disruptions – wireless networks and VoIP. They are equally potent, and dangerous to the future of some of the old guard, except that we are still in the first innings when it comes to these two technologies.

9 Responses to “The Five Digital Disruptions”

  1. I would suggest the growing use of RFID tags to track purchases, identify individuals and enable pervasive computing. This is going to be disruptive on many levels; as well as upsetting some established technologies, it will also force us into an even greater debate about privacy and the levels to which retailers, employers, etc. can track us.

  2. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought disruption involved two components: a technology and a supporting strategy for making revenue.

    You have listed a bunch of technologies, where’s the money?

    Just blowin’ sh*t up is not disruption. There needs to be a path to $$$s for it to be real.

    What I see listed is wholesale, across the board implosion of a bunch of industries with no subsequent new revenues streams (ok, maybe trickles).


  3. Great list but I’m afraid you’ve missed a really, really big one:
    Distributed information (that is, information found via search/XML/RSS no longer in a central place) affects media (news, classifieds, advertising). It’s the growth of consumer control and the death of the marketplace and the mass market. That’s disruptive not only to industries but to society (and in many good ways).

  4. Well… I am all for creating opportunities and I don’t think that it is destroying older industries.

    The older industries will only be destroyed if they allow it to happen to them. There is no reason why they can’t get creative with their business and start doing things a little differently to keep up with the digital age. They could use these opportunities to their advantage.

    It seems to me that the older industries are just acting stubborn to see if they can wiggle their way out of changing, but whether they like it or not, the digital age is upon us.

    Since the new is rolling in full speed ahead, I believe that these older industries will be forced to change and to use the opportunities to their advantage if they are to stay alive. However, I think they would be wise to begin changing sooner than later.

  5. I agree… i think what is happening is that advertisers are the one who are now losing a place to hawk their products, which is as a result of this whole time shifting notion. i think it is an interesting dilemma for all companies. anyway i think voip and wireless are two key disruptors as well

  6. Yeah, we need to add wireless and VOIP definitely…he missed the major one on PVRs – advertisers aren’t the one’s disrupted (they are affected, but it’s more like a reallocation of capital) – it’s those that depend on ad revenue – Viacom and the like….

  7. NOT having VOIP in the disruptive category is like NOT mentioning Level3 as a DISRUPTIVE FORCE in VOIP………….some amazing ””stuff”’ going to happen in next few months–did I mention “”DISRUPTIVE ENTERPRISE PLUG and PLAY VOIP””?????????

    Skibare is about READY to leave the Building!