The Eruption of Disruption

At the AEM Annual Conference last year, Peter Diamandis, CEO of XPRIZE, made a bold prediction to those of us in the audience.  He predicted that a decade from now 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be put out of business by disruptive technologies.  Although that probably sounds extreme to many of us, I’m sure that former employees at Kodak, Blockbuster, and Borders are less blown away the prediction.

Industry Survey Results
Largest concerns with future on-vehicle technology (respondents could select more than one response)

DISTek recently surveyed engineers, engineering managers, and engineering executives from companies that manufacture off-highway equipment on the technical outlook for the industry.  In the survey, we asked respondents about their largest concerns with future on-vehicle technology.  In a prior blog post I talked about the top concern, reliability.  One thing that jumped out from the survey results is that only one in four respondents’ selected disruptive technologies as one of their future concerns.

Disruptive Stress

Is the potential threat of being left behind by new technology being overlooked by companies in the Off-Highway industry?  At one time, innovation primarily took place in the research labs of the largest companies in the most developed nations.  However, thanks to significant advances in technology, the primary competition is no longer just other established companies in the same industry, but also individuals from across the globe working out of their homes and garages.  As nanotechnology, robotics, and 3D printing continue to mature and become less expensive, we should only expect this trend of innovation from individuals to grow, and grow significantly.

All this raises the question, what are you doing to inject disruption into your company?  If the answer is nothing, it’s one you may want to rethink.  As the disruptive technology experts proclaim, if you’re not disrupting yourself, then someone else is.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy joined DISTek in 1998, and serves as President and CEO. Jeremy oversees engineering, products, and business development at DISTek. Jeremy previously developed embedded software for many off-highway vehicles and hand held GPS applications, specializing in software reuse. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Northern Iowa.

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