Here you get my list of disruptive companies in the context of open innovation and big companies.
1. Kickstarter (crowdfunding)
The crowdfunding wave was – well, kickstarted – by Kickstarter. This will continue to grow giving innovators all over the world a different kind of access to financing their ventures. This will certainly disrupt the (early stage) venture capital industry and it might also have an impact on corporate innovation teams in big companies as even more startups will emerge. Of course, this could also become a positive thing as they get even more potential partners for their open innovation programs.
2. Apple (phones, computers – and wearable devices?)
Yes, I am a big Apple fan (but not a share holder) and I might be a bit late in accepting that some people think Apple is falling behind in some ways. However, they still deserve credits for the disruptions brought along by the iPhone, iPod and Ipad.
Furthermore, I believe Apple will have a big impact on wearable devices if they decide to enter this market although I am not sure which current companies will be disrupted here. It might even be Apple’s own products, but sometimes disrupting industries goes hand in hand with creating entirely new ones.
3. Square (the financial sector)
I have met with several corporate innovation teams from the financial sector over the years and they are all looking for new ideas and concepts that can disrupt the way Paypal did it. Well, the next wave is mobile payments and Square is leading the pack here.
4. Tesla Motors (car manufacturers and big oil companies)
In my view, Tesla Motors is the lead company in changing our views on how we will drive cars in the future (moving away from fossil fuels) and this disrupts not only car manufacturers but also the big oil companies.
Better Place is another company that I considered in this category as they try to build out the eco-system needed for driving electric cars. Unfortunately, Better Place – at least in Denmark – seems to have some difficulties, but the whole idea of electric as well as other environmental-friendly ways of driving cars is disruptive in many ways.
5. Open for your suggestion!
I leave this spot open as I had difficulties finding a relevant company here. I did consider companies that are driving the use of communities in innovation efforts – NineSights by NineSigma, Psion’s Ingenuity Working or a subcommunity such as AllFoodExperts, but they are still too early in their efforts to be judged on their disruptive potential. So what company would you mention here? Remember that the context is open innovation and big companies.
As a closing remark, I can say that I took notice in the difficulty in identifying truly disruptive companies when I did this exercises. This takes me to an even more obvious observation: It is very difficult building disruptive companies!