The 5 Charts that Changed Businesses: Disruptive Innovation

Posted on September 17, 2012


People don’t usually think of charts as groundbreaking innovations.  But the visual aid of a chart often helps us draw valuable conclusions from otherwise unorganized data.  DaVinci Business Graphics finishes our series on the 5 charts that changed the business world, taking a look at the Disruptive Innovation Chart.    

 If you think this chart looks more than a bit complicated, you’re not alone.  While the chart may be a little difficult to follow, the concept behind it is relatively intuitive.  Think about floppy disks.  Remember those?  Back before floppy disks were extinct, manufacturers created them in different sizes.  The first size of floppy disk was 14 inches.  These sold relatively well, but when other businesses produced 8 inch floppy disks, it disrupted the sales of 14 inch disks by creating a new market for floppy disks and floppy disk products.

This is what the Disruptive Innovation Chart refers to; a market innovation that, rather than create competition, creates a new market that displaces earlier technology.  In modern times we see this sort of innovation all too often, as one piece of technology after the next is touted as the “next big thing.”

Clayton M. Christensen and Joseph L. Bower introduced the idea of disruptive innovation in a 1995 HBR article.  They used the chart to illustrate how a disruptive force can, over time, take the place of a larger, more productive firm or company.  The “disruptor” begins by targeting those customers that present a small profit margin and continually work their way up until, after a certain period of time, the larger business has lost its customers to the disruptive business.

While disruptive technologies rarely wipe older technologies completely off the map, Christensen and Bower’s chart has illustrated why businesses need to prepare for disruptive forces in the future.


Business charts can help your company analyze data, plan for the future and much more.  Does your business need help organizing and representing data?  Contact DaVinci Business Graphics.  We’ve been providing businesses with the custom business charts they need for over 25 years.  We print the highest quality business charts designed to your specifications.  Track your business progress, set goals, and manage your office with a chart from DaVinci.

Contact DaVinci Business Graphics today and discover how our charts can help you better manage your business

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