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Disruptive technologies

The article that I chose to explore discusses the idea of disruptive technologies and how they impact different sectors of industry as well as citing examples of disruptive technologies. Before examining in totality what the article explores, disruptive technologies, as the name suggests, are technologies that are so groundbreaking or innovative that existing technologies and industries feel the effect by either being partially or completely replaced by the new technology. These ripples continue onto secondarily related technologies thus causing some sort of revolution in businesses.

The article talks about a report by the McKinsey Global Institute and gathers that from the report there are 12 different disruptive technologies that may account for a “potential economic impact between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year in 2025”. It then goes onto examine three of these technologies: advanced robotics, “next-level genomics”, and energy storage. The article continues to analyze some of the pros of these different advances in technology and how they have the potential to revolutionize aspects of our everyday life but also highlights how these new technologies will create different challenges that need to be overcome.

In our class discussion regarding network structures, there was this notion that newer technologies may be better when the consumption is equal but since the established product has a user base, consumers are inclined to remain with established product due to the advantages associated with many people using it. I see a correlation between some of the disruptive technologies mentioned in the article and this struggle discussed in class. For example, in the article’s section on energy storage, there is a discussion regarding improving batteries for electric cars. However, there is a large incentive to remain with cars that run on gasoline because gas stations will be far more prevalent versus electric charging stations until electric cars become more popular than they are now or in the near future. Thus even if the electric car proves to be more efficient and consequently in an equal world “better”, people will continue to use cars that run on gasoline. Similarly, many of the other disruptive technologies face a similar challenge. The key to overcoming this challenge is what we discussed in class and taking advantage of social behavior through economic incentive and increasing consumer value.


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November 2015