Kindle Disruptive Technology Essay

1387 words - 6 pages

A disruptive technology or innovation can be found in both emerging and existing markets. Historically, these new technologies introduce a different platform of features that mainstream customers aren’t used to. Typically, an emerging market will make it easier for disruptive technology to enter the mainstream as consumers haven’t developed a tendency or reliance for a certain product. As a rule, mainstream customers are unwilling to use a disruptive product in applications they know and understand. If we are to use a relatively recent example, the Apple iPhone, when first introduced, was originally met with skepticism and criticism. At the time, flip phones that were capable of both touch ...view middle of the document...

In other words, who is in support of the project and who isn’t? It is typically found that the financial and marketing managers are unwilling to back a disruptive technology because the potential revenues from the discernible market are small. Additionally, it is often difficult to project how big the markets for the technology will be over the long term so it is increasingly important to think far into the future even during the developmental stages of the product.

Analyze Amazon’s disruptive strategy in detail, based on Christensen’s logic. Can we call Amazon’s strategy disruptive? Why or why not? What are the main features of this strategy that have made the Kindle such an overwhelming success?

With the Amazon Kindle, a new market was emerging; eReading was disrupting the paper and hardcover book industry. Although the Kindle was wildy successful following its launch in late 2007, it was met with a lot of skepticism from die-hard novelists. These people that refused to leave their beloved books because they didn’t enjoy the feel, the aroma, or even the pleasures of carrying it with them on cross country road trips. The kindle had yet to appeal to all demographics, especially the more conservative types.

Amazon’s strategy with the Kindle was to introduce the world to a different way of reading books. A way that was simplified, convenient, and ultimately cheaper than having purchasing regular paper back books. The emerging market that they were creating is now referred to as eReading, which allows users to purchase their books online, store them onto a device and read them on the go. The disruption was eventually felt all over the book industry, although initially it was not expected to do so. Amazon was already at an advantage with how successful their eCommerce website had become, so when they made the choice to use this as leverage, it was no surprise. By asking the right people the right questions, Amazon was able to determine, atleast for the majority, that the benefits of cloud storage for books on a mobile device would far outweigh the costs. In 2004, CEO Jeff Bezos and his senior vice president came up with the radical idea of using their online bookstore and making its own hardware. It was only natural that they created an entirely new market segment, eReading. At that point, the market was wide open; they just need to harness its potential by exhausting all of the resources available to them. With their disruptive strategy, Amazon knew that timing was an extremely important factor in its success. They wanted to reach the market at a time where people were becoming more and more dependent on the Internet. With the release of the Apple iPhone a few months earlier, Amazon, using their various marketability research methods, saw it as a good time to release their own groundbreaking product, the Kindle.

Even after doing the market research, which Christensen says will always be ineffective in disruptive technologies, they dramatically...

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