Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ukuleles as disruptive technology

Bill and George talk about unemployment in times of disruption.
George: Turbulent times.
Bill: Chaotic, even random. I mean, I’ve been to 16 job interviews and nothing, but Jack, you know, Jack?
George: The guitarist?
Bill: The same, he goes to a club week or two back, and he plays there and gets talking to a boss kind who says, “I saw you on YouTube, you want a job?”
George: A job? As a guitarist?
Bill: Teaching ukulele. To the unemployed.
George: Wha - ? That’s a jump.
Bill: Disruptive. Ukuleles are disruptive. Like Skype disrupted telephone companies. Jack says ukuleles are the disrupting technology that are going to challenge guitars.
George: Ukuleles? A disruptive technology?
Bill: Why not? They fit the pattern. They’re cheap, they’re small. Even Warren Buffet plays one. And he says they are disruptive. Here.
George: But Warren Buffet isn’t exactly unemployed.
Disruptive technology, or disruptive innovations, as Clayton Christensen renamed his concept, offer many examples. Desktop printers disrupted the copy shop industry, or online news and blogs disrupted the newspaper industry, or digital cameras disrupted the film industry. So by extending the Christensen logic to a conclusion, you can argue that something small and cheap (ukulele) coming along disrupts something bigger and more expensive (guitar). And Warren is doing a great job of buffing up the image of the ukulele.

No comments: