Edited by Robert DeFillippi, Alison Rieple and Patrik Wikström
Chapter 2: Mobility horizons: design in a disruptive market
In the late 1990s, Clay Christenson’s (1997) research into why successful firms suddenly experienced severe market failure brought the concept of disruptive innovation into the general business lexicon. Originally referred to as ‘disruptive technologies’, the definition soon broadened to include technical innovation, product innovation and business model innovation (Markides, 2006). Disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates an entirely new way of doing things, which is usually faster, cheaper with increased accessibility for new customers and often revolutionizes an existing industry. A recent disruption to existing industries was identified by Botsman and Rogers (2010) as ‘collaborative consumption’, where business is based on the sharing of resources or provision of increased access to them, and the appeal of sharing-based solutions was cemented in the wider public consciousness. Many start-ups have been conceived based on this premise, the premise that individuals forgo the purchase of items and instead pay for temporary access to goods and services. These ventures can be broadly classified into three types; product-service systems, redistribution markets and collaborative lifestyles. Product-service systems are products under the traditional ownership paradigm that are offered as services usually by a company or a centralized peer-to- peer system. Redistribution markets centre on moving goods on after an entity has concluded their use of that product. These items are sold or given away in the ‘second-life’ market. The final subcategory, collaborative lifestyles, is considered the most dynamic and intangible, where people with similar needs or interests connect with each other, sharing parts of themselves and often exchange more than assets, including attributes such as time, skills, knowledge or money. Such businesses thrive when traditional ownership models are becoming increasingly expensive, when the number of assets is high, and the usage of that asset is low, and people with similar interests and needs are able to connect with each other either online or in person.
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