We live in a fast-changing world where new trends, products and innovations  that ‘poach’ customers away from the main players on such a large scale are developed every day. Big market players tend to focus on their revenue streams and only change when there is a disruption. Take for example Kodak, they developed the digital camera in the mid-70s but they primarily focused on what was already working for them. Other companies such as Sony developed a similar digital camera and would later disrupt the market. Kodak was left flat-footed in their wake.

Carlos Moedas recently outlined about 3 pillars of disruptive innovation in Europe at the 6th European Innovation summit. He outlined;

  1. Adequate public and private funding of research, development, and innovation.
  2. A unified research area, open to the world, with firm foundations in the Internal Market.
  3. A market environment quick to respond to innovation: making it easier for great ideas devised here to become commercial products and services: creating entirely new markets and transforming existing ones, through disruptive innovation


Disruptive innovation creates new markets and shapes existing markets in a relatively fast-changing world we live in. Take for instance the Taxi ecosystem in Kenya. There was a major disruption when Uber entered the market. Uber embarked on a major marketing campaign within the major cities and the market responded quickly. There was a disruption in how business was conducted in this industry.

Another example we have seen in Kenya is the introduction of mobile banking in Kenya. Mpesa disrupted the banking within Kenya with the Central Bank of Kenya going on record noting of its importance to the Kenyan economy. Banks in Kenya would soon change to accommodate mobile banking in their platforms.

You want to be a disrupter, you do not want to be disrupted. The best ideas are normally not the new ones, rather they are better methods and delivery of the existing ways and methods.
When developing a business plan, remember to focus on the benefits passed on to your client and why your innovation or innovative way will build you a successful business.

The Nairobi Innovation Week will provide a platform to raise up the next generation of young, talented and dynamic scientists, researchers and innovators.
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