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Jill Lepore: What the Theory of “Disruptive Innovation” Gets Wrong

Jill Lepore: What the Theory of “Disruptive Innovation” Gets Wrong
In the last years of the nineteen-eighties, I worked not at startups but at what might be called finish-downs. Tech companies that were dying would hire temps—college students and new graduates—to do what little was left of the work of the employees they’d laid off. This was in Cambridge, near M.I.T. Not long after that, I got a better assignment: answering the phone for Michael Porter, a professor at the Harvard Business School. Porter was interested in how companies succeed. Ever since “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted. Things you own or use that are now considered to be the product of disruptive innovation include your smartphone and many of its apps, which have disrupted businesses from travel agencies and record stores to mapmaking and taxi dispatch. Last month, days after the Times’ publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., fired Jill Abramson, the paper’s executive editor, the Times’ 2014 Innovation Report was leaked. Related:  disruptionDisruptionIdeas and Conversation

R.R. Donnelley Shows That Not All Innovation Comes From Startups R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., the 150-year-old printing giant, is about as old-world as a company can be. But it is figuring out, in its own way, how to incorporate new technology and adapt its business model to the digital era. If a company can print labels and catalogues and books, why not RFID tags or antennas? That work is underway at the Chicago-based company’s R&D center in Grand Island, N.Y., near Buffalo. Steven Rosenbush / WSJ Experimental digital printing at R.R. At Grand Island, the company is testing experimental presses that print RFID tags, sensors, antennas and batteries onto functional labels. The effort at Donnelley shows that not all innovation comes from startups. Today the overriding theory is disruption — “ founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence.” Follow @steve_rosenbush

Are New Funding Methods Disrupting Venture Capital? » Digital Innovation and Transformation With the increased amount of various funding methods for startups, the landscape has become ever more siloed per financing round stage and size. There has especially been an increase in funding sources in the earlier seed stages with the advent of crowdfunding, accelerators, seed funds and the increasing prominence of super angels and organized angel groups who function almost like a venture fund. At the Series A stage firms such as Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures have introduced a model where the venture investor provides a large array of services and support in addition to the equity capital. Finally at the later stages hedge funds and other alternative asset investors have stepped up to write large checks with sky-high valuations but with very light control terms. The entrepreneur is clearly a winner at all stages with the increased choice and availability of funding, but are these developments making the traditional venture capital model obsolete?

20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are | GoWeLoveIt | Page 2 We all feel like failures from time to time. While this is a normal feeling, you have to find a way to see yourself and your life from a different perspective. Sometimes we ignore the “little things.” Just because you are not a millionaire, don’t live in a mansion, and you don’t drive a fancy car, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Here are 20 signs that you are succeeding in life: 1. Drama is not maturity. 2. Asking for help does not equal weakness. 3. You don’t tolerate bad behavior any more – from other people, or even yourself. 4. No, this is not narcissistic even though it might seem like it. 5. Ideally, you should appreciate who you see in the mirror at every moment. 6. Not everyone can have success 100% of the time. 7. If you have figured out the people who “have your back” and recognized the ones who only pretend that they do, then you have succeeded. 8. Because you know there really is nothing to complain about. 9. 10. You are not stagnant.

The Devastating Collapse of the Music Industry in One Chart - Rocco Riffs By: Rocco Pendola Follow | 06/27/14 - 11:00 AM EDT NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Get a load of this visual, courtesy of the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), via Digital Music News: That's a breakdown of total music industry revenues. And it's nothing short of what my headline says ... a "collapse" that is "devastating." No click bait hyperbole here, brother. Just plain fact. And it's plain fact I've been riffing on ever since I started writing on the broad subject, as it particularly relates to Pandora (P) and Internet radio, at TheStreet. The music industry continues to go after anybody it thinks it can make a case against. I get into some detail in February's Apple Hosed the Music Industry. There was never any action taken by the music industry to right its own ship. The music industrial complex didn't build it own platforms to distribute the music it owns and/or controls. That's what losers do. --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Love and Money: Harnessing Finance to Serve the Disruptive - and the World Donna Morton explains how a stint with the Unreasonable Institute inspired a new paradigm for finance - one that meets the needs of all social entrepreneurs “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” ― Arundhati Roy Business and economics are powerful forces in the world, but even they both bow to finance. After decades as an activist and social entrepreneur it hit me that the economy is not the root system - the economy feeds at the feet of finance. Adam Kahane, who helped South Africa transition out of apartheid told us that if we are serious about systems change, we need to harness the mother of all other systems - love. The shift was catalyzed by the Unreasonable Institute. Finance was new to many of us. The deal makers and deal receivers were mostly white guys from the U.S. Many fellows in the house liked my questions, the team at Unreasonable liked my “unreasonable” take. Wow. How can “we” become finance? What is Scale Deep?

Anarchy in the bus lane: how protesters quietly took over London’s streets | Art and design | The Guardian “Phalanstery,” reads the buzzer outside the HQ of the anarchist magazine Strike! How I’m meant to work out that this is their office eludes me. I have to phone my contact to check – but that’s anarchism for you. At least I learn a new word. Setting up a meeting with Strike! Those “petty acts of vandalism” are another reason why setting up an interview is tricky. To secure a meeting, I agreed not to give their names. Published in November, issue eight of Strike! “I had experience of writing political blogs,” says the 32-year-old. They prefer not to describe themselves as an anarchist publication, opting to say instead that it is “run on anarchist principles”: non-hierarchical and non-profit-making. In issue two (“the sedition issue”), they ran a piece by former New York Times foreign correspondent Daniel Simpson decrying the conformism of “big media”. The group believes anarchist actions – direct efforts to initiate change – are as important as words. • Artwork from Strike!

Panel Examines TV's Crisis Management: Embrace the New Landscape, But Hang on Tight Producers Guild conference concludes, “There's never been more opportunity, and it's never been harder to get the right deal” At a time when the television landscape has been completely disrupted by new ways of delivering and viewing programs, the best thing producers can do is take advantage of new opportunities and hope they can figure out a way to make money in a wild new world. That was the conclusion from a panel titled “The Revolution Has Just Been Televised: The Disrupted Landscape of TV” at the Producers Guild of America's Produced By Conference on Saturday on the Warner Bros. lot (though the PGA misspelled the word televised on the panel's video screen, above). “Nobody doubts that TV is in a kind of crisis right now – but that's the good news,” said PGA executive director Vance Van Petten when he introduced the panel, which was sponsored by TheWrap and moderated by producer Marshall Herskovitz (“thirtysomething,” “My So-Called Life”). The panelists had different answers.

The Real Trouble with Disruption Young wannabes doing their thing at a Techcrunch Disrupt conference in 2012. Photo via Flickr user JD Lasica At the Powell Street BART station in San Francisco, ads for Oakley sunglasses are everywhere. “Disruptive by design,” they declare—or, rather, #DESRUPTIVEBYDESIGN. Behind those words are gray images of blueprints and lasers and factories with big bolts like in Charlie Chaplin’s spoof Modern Times. Fittingly, the campaign is a collaboration with Wired, the foremost media enterprise devoted to the worship of all things new. The truth, however, is that disruption is not boring at all. Jill Lepore’s recent essay in The New Yorker, “The Disruption Machine,” offers an important intervention. A good way to start thinking about disruption is by asking questions like this: Who is being disrupted most? The most serious disruption of our economy in recent memory, the 2008 financial crash, is a particularly troubling example of this pattern. Disruption is essential, and a fact of life.

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It I was driving 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold. Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass. As I tried to cope with all this, a picture of the two hackers performing these stunts appeared on the car’s digital display: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, wearing their trademark track suits. The Jeep’s strange behavior wasn’t entirely unexpected. Click to Open Overlay Gallery As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. Immediately my accelerator stopped working.

James Surowiecki: The Startup Mass Extinction We live in the age of the startup. It’s never been easier to build a product and start a company. And, thanks to the boom in angel investing and crowdfunding, it’s never been easier for startups to raise money. The analytics firm CB Insights logged more than seventeen hundred seed-investment deals in the U.S. tech industry in 2012, more than three times the number from three years earlier. The fact that most new businesses fail is hardly a secret. Entrepreneurs may recognize that, in general, starting a business is risky. In the startup world, endemic optimism is amplified by other factors. You might suppose that entrepreneurs would be better off curbing their optimism.

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