(2010-01-03) Dixon The Next Big Thing Will Start Out Looking Like A Toy

Chris Dixon: The next big thing will start out looking like a toy. The reason big new things sneak by incumbents is that the next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a “toy.” This is one of the main insights of Clayton Christensen’s “disruptive technology” theory.

This does not mean every product that looks like a toy will turn out to be the next big thing. To distinguish toys that are disruptive from toys that will remain just toys, you need to look at products as processes

external forces: microchips getting cheaper, bandwidth becoming ubiquitous, mobile devices getting smarter, etc. For a product to be disruptive it needs to be designed to ride these changes up the utility curve.

Social software is an interesting special case where the strongest forces of improvement are users’ actions. Hmm, does that make the theory un-falsifiable?

A product doesn’t have to be disruptive to be valuable.

Edited:    |       |    Search Twitter for discussion