Disruptive Innovation in the Era of Big Tech

HANNAH BATES: Welcome to HBR On Strategy, case studies and conversations with the world’s top business and management experts – hand-selected to help you unlock new ways of doing business.

In 1995, the late and legendary Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen introduced his theory of disruptive innovation right here in the pages of Harvard Business Review .   The idea inspired a generation of entrepreneurs and businesses, ranging from small start-ups to global corporations.

Almost three decades later, debates have emerged around how the theory should be applied in the real world especially within the tech start-ups that have driven so much economic growth .

In this episode, Harvard Business Review editor Amy Bernstein and a panel of expert scholars discuss the legacy of disruptive innovation, including what Christensen got wrong about it, and how the common perception of “disruption” has drifted away from Christensen’s initial idea in recent decades.

This episode will give you a new perspective on what makes a strategy succeed in the long term. It originally aired on HBR IdeaCast in October 2022 as part of a special series called 4 Business Ideas That Changed the World. Here it is.

AMY BERNSTEIN: Welcome to 4 Business Ideas That Changed the World, a special series of the HBR IdeaCast. In the 1980s, Clayton Christensen was in his 30s, the business guy at a startup. The company was making ceramics out of advanced materials, and it was able to take over the market niche from DuPont and Alcoa. That experience left Christensen puzzled. How could a small company with few resources beat rich incumbents? The question led to his theory of disruptive innovation, introduced in the pages of Harvard Business Review in 1995, and popularized two years later in The Innovator’s Dilemma.

The idea

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PrairiesCan commits $6.1 million for downtown Calgary innovation hub, local business retention programs

Funded projects are anticipated to support and generate about 1,000 positions, the govt suggests.


The Federal government of Canada is investing $6.1 million into Calgary to create a new innovation hub in the downtown core, as well as establish more applications aimed at escalating the competitiveness of community enterprises.

Created as a result of the federal agency Prairies Financial Growth Canada (PrairiesCan), $3.1 million will go in the direction of the Metropolis of Calgary to establish a “Technology Integration Centre,” when Calgary Economic Advancement is obtaining $3 million.

Calgary Financial Improvement expects its initiatives to assist 200 neighborhood businesses and guide to the development of 900 employment.

In accordance to the Metropolis, the new centre will allow for Calgary-centered businesses to take a look at, refine, and showcase their technologies. It is predicted to assistance the advancement of about 100 tech corporations and additional than 180 careers.

The Engineering Integration Centre would be the latest innovation hub to be recognized in Calgary, pursuing the completion of System Calgary’s Platform Innovation Centre in 2022.

Platform Calgary is a non-revenue, member-primarily based organization mandated to assist local companies grow. The Platform Innovation Centre is also backed by the federal federal government, together with the $2-million expenditure it received last yr.

“Our federal government is partnering with community financial development drivers in communities across the Prairies to make certain firms have the means they require to mature, compete, and make quality work opportunities for Canadians,” Minister for Prairies Economic Advancement Dan Vandal reported.

With funding from PrairiesCan, Calgary Economic Growth aims to provide various initiatives to assist generate overseas direct financial commitment and business-retention activities around the a few yrs.

Connected: Vantage Circle, Eventcombo equally relocate their headquarters to Calgary, approach to retain the services of hundreds

Some of Calgary Economic Development’s

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Analysis on Federal Business Innovation and Growth Support to Clean Technology, 2016 to 2020


The authors would like to thank Syeda Batool and Sarah Feng at the Data Science, Research and Development Unit at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, as well as Kerem Soyak at the Clean Growth Hub at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, for their collaboration and feedback throughout the study.


This analysis provides a first-ever snapshot of the businesses performing clean technology activities that have been funded by the federal government through Business Innovation and Growth Support (BIGS) programs. In 2020, the BIGS database covered a total of 123 programs delivered by 18 federal departments, of which 15 were clean technology programs. Over the past five years, the BIGS database covered a total of 172 programs delivered by 19 departments. As well, BIGS programs have provided support to an average of 23,276 enterprises per year, while an average of 918 enterprises were supported by clean technology programs.


  • The number of clean technology (clean tech) beneficiaries increased from 436 to 1,335 enterprises between 2016 and 2020, and the total value of the federal support increased from $84 million to $394 million in the same period.
  • Clean tech supported businesses are smaller and newer and report higher growth compared with businesses supported by federal Business Innovation and Growth Support (BIGS) programs in general.
  • In 2020, clean tech supported businesses invested $200,000 more on average in research and development and exported $61 million more on average, compared with all BIGS-supported businesses.
  • Ownership of clean tech supported businesses is less diverse, but the workforce is more educated, compared with all BIGS-supported businesses.


The Government of Canada offers financial and service-based support to businesses through programs that provide activities such as funding, consulting services to enterprises, industry-facing research and development (R&D), support provided

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Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Gaming

We’ve entered into an entirely new era of technological innovation. It’s easy to take much of this for granted – after all, who doesn’t own a smartphone? But smartphones, as powerful and complex as they are, have many limitations. These limitations aren’t because of the hardware of the device, but rather the software. An advanced mobile operating system like Android, for example, has come a really long way in the last decade. But we’re starting to see some innovations in these operating systems slow down a fair amount. And part of this is because developers are only able to work so fast, especially in an industry that constantly demands faster updates and upgrades. 

But artificial intelligence may change all of that. In fact, many feel that AI is going to usher in countless systemic changes to our world. And one industry that’s going to be greatly affected by the advancement of artificial intelligence is video gaming. Now a global favourite for billions of people, video gaming has become planet Earth’s most popular pastime. And it’s a trend that looks to continue in the coming years. So, let’s dive into what AI means for video gaming and how it will change the way that you enjoy all of your favourite games. 

Non-Player Characters 

Let’s first take a look at one of the most important parts of most video games: NPCs. NPCs, also known as non-player characters, are the characters that you interact with as you play their game. In the past, these characters usually followed specific rules that were coded into them by developers. Meaning that there are only so many things that these characters can do. And because of their limits, it can sometimes make the game frustrating to play. Fortunately, AI may be able to solve this frustration. …

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Supporting Innovation and Business Development in Ocean Technology

To increase advertising and marketing and organization progress in the ocean know-how industry, the Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC, Minister of Marketplace, Power and Technology, today introduced about $138,000 as a result of the Business Progress Help Program for two organizations functioning in this sector.

Notus Electronics Limited is a privately-owned, St. John’s-primarily based company of hydro acoustic net checking remedies. Included in 1992, the organization has formulated and commercialized a one of a kind omnidirectional sonar know-how, predominantly for offshore trawling and netting. Notus’ team of 12 workforce has formulated a Trawl Positioning Technique that is capable of speaking trawl net position relative to the trawler’s posture and the ocean mattress – the only product or service of its kind now readily available in the industry. To support with marketing this special solution both of those regionally and internationally, the organization is obtaining a non-repayable contribution of $98,169 from the Enterprise Growth Assist Program.

SubC Imaging, established by Chad Collett in 2010, designs and manufactures underwater cameras, methods, LED lights, lasers, DVRs, and distant functions methods. The enterprise has practically 30 employees and clients all more than the entire world. By the Small business Progress Help Program, the Provincial Federal government is delivering a non-repayable contribution of $40,775 to support the invest in of an Enterprise Source Scheduling procedure, which will permit the organization to streamline present-day procurement functions, integrate agency-wide small business capabilities, and supply administration with crucial critical general performance indicators to help better-educated business development conclusions.

The Provincial Govt supports small and medium-sized firms that are fully commited to establishing and escalating their operations via initiatives in the direction of productiveness advancement, understanding/staff development, and/or enlargement of export marketplaces. Guidance for these assignments demonstrates the Provincial Government’s determination to reinforce the province’s financial basis by facilitating advancement

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Tech Innovation Is A Wicked Business Problem

Chris Coldwell founder of Quicksilver Application Progress.

Tech innovation is a kind of “wicked problem,” a expression released in the 1970s this means the problem is intricate with multiple interconnected components and stakeholders—each with their possess targets and priorities. Due to the fact of this, any alternative proposed could aid clear up the puzzle although concurrently uncovering far more layers and more worries to the initial difficulty.

Including our natural resistance to modify, tech innovation can be a substantial interior battle for individuals accustomed to how their organization commonly operates. Having to mature your team’s competencies, assist the new technological know-how and tutorial your shoppers and stakeholders via the transition with no assured success provides numerous complexities that can stop innovation.

Despite these worries, the competitive nature of modern setting with its changing marketplace disorders and emerging systems is driving enterprises to frequently adapt and innovate. Coming up with progressive remedies is one particular piece, but adoption and longevity are a whole other established of difficulties that we deal with.

The Only Consistent Is Adjust

As hinted earlier, the speedy rate of technological change is a major issue that drives the want for constant innovation. New systems and traits are usually rising, and enterprises that can properly leverage these technologies can gain a major gain around their opponents. This poses significant wicked challenges for companies that have managed to remain aggressive for a extensive time without any key adjustments to their operations.

As an illustrative illustration, these days, Motorola is a very well-acknowledged manufacturer that provides a selection of purchaser electronics, such as smartphones, tablets and smartwatches. But Motorola started out as a provider of radio elements for the automotive marketplace, ultimately growing its small business to include customer electronics, protection, federal government communications and telecommunication

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