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  • The term ‘disruptive innovation’ refers to innovations that create new markets by discovering new categories of customers. They do so by harnessing new technologies, developing new business models, and using old technologies in new ways.
  • The theory of disruptive innovation was invented in 1997 by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen. He contrasted disruptive innovation with sustaining innovation, which simply improves existing products.
  • Personal computers are an example of disruptive innovation; they created a new mass market for computers, which had previously been sold only to big companies and research facilities.
  • Speakers on disruptive innovation may experts on the theory, or they may be business leaders and entrepreneurs who work with disruptive innovation in practice.