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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.

Music CDs wiped out the phonograph industry within a few years (although audiophiles later created a renaissance), while Pandora and other online music services have all but eliminated CDs. Video streaming has made the DVD industry less relevant, and USB drives along with Internet storage have been the death knell for all optical media.

Digital cameras demolished the film industry, and smartphones have practically eliminated the stand-alone camera business. With smartphones, there is also no need for built-in navigation units in a vehicle or portable units that mount on the dashboard. Stay tuned!