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Definition: disruptive technology

A new technology that has a serious impact on the status quo and changes the way people have been dealing with something, perhaps for decades. Throughout history, there have been many disruptive technologies, including the steam engine, electricity, automobile, telephone, integrated circuit (chip) and the Internet.

More recently in the digital world, music CDs wiped out the phonograph industry within a few years (although audiophiles later created somewhat of a renaissance), and digital cameras demolished the film industry. Smartphones with their built-in cameras practically destroyed the stand-alone camera business. Stay tuned!