Disruption, specifically in business, is the radical change to an existing industry or market due to technological innovation. However, the big secret about disruption is this: In reality, disruption doesn’t happen radically. It happens incrementally.
When we think about disruptive technologies or inventions, we want to believe that Thomas Edison woke up one day with the idea of the light bulb and then—bam!—two weeks later, he built a functioning light bulb. But that’s not actually how it worked.
Over the course of several years, Edison and his team of associates tirelessly worked to develop an efficient source of electric light. They spent countless hours working on at least 3,000 different theories across 6,000 different types of filaments. It was only by learning from those continued incremental improvements, along with endless persistence, that yielded the first functioning light bulb in 1879.
If you research search engines, social networks, or electric cars, you’ll find the same thing. Iterative processes combined with a relentless focus lead to disruptive innovations.
It’s that simple. It happens to be true in business as well. Want to build a great business? Simply wake up every day relentlessly focused on improving your business.