Hello from Brussels -- I'll spend the next couple of days in reviewing two EU projects, one here in Brussels and the other in Dortmund, Germany - 3.5 hours train ride from here.
I have written about disruptive technologies before, one of my favorite topics in fact.
Yesterday there were two events that reminded me of this, the first one was visiting Better Place, An Israeli company, founded by Shai Agassi, a person I met when he was still young, and got to be one of the senior leaders of SAP. His vision is the vision of electric car, and the company, as seen in the slide above, is an infrastructure company which provides charging, automatic battery replacement and some other goodies. They intend to start commercial use of their cars (currently they work with Renault as a manufacturer) at the end of the year, this is indeed a disruptive technology over the current models of energy consumption in cars, and also of the leasing model of cars. We'll see if this trend will catch.
The other event was an interview with Eitan Wertheimer, chairman of the board of Iscar, and known Israeli industrialist, who said in that interview that whenever he launches a product, he kicks-off a team to establish a disruptive product that will make it obsolete. This seems to go against the genetics of business -- since the goal of any business is to make money out of its products, and not try to defeat it. His reasoning was that for every technology somebody will work on defeating it, and it is better be us and not our competitors.
I like this line of reasoning, the technology world moves fast, and if one wants to be a leader, then it must lead
new developments all the time.
I always saw our mission in IBM Research to create disruptive technologies rather than incrementally advance existing ones, I think we are doing some of these, but not enough. Our current project is certainly in that direction.