Disruptive innovation within the rock 'n roll guitar industry

Over on the On Disruption blog, software executive and guitar enthusiast Zack Urlocker has posted a great case study of disruptive change within the billion-dollar professional guitar industry. What happens when an upstart competitor from southern California (Line 6) launches a new line of disruptive guitars for Rock 'n Roll musicians? Much as you would expect - the entrenched market leaders (Fender, Gibson) wait and watch, hoping the disruption will go away. However, it looks like the new Variax guitar from Line 6 is starting to gain a toehold within the guitar market, forcing the hand of Fender and Gibson, which control nearly 90% of the market on a combined basis.

The level of detail and research by Urlocker is worthy of a Harvard B-School case study, and there is also a cool guitar-playing video clip as well. (Be sure to check out the YouTube clip and see how many of the songs you can recognize!) At the end of the post, there's a list of four lessons about disruptive innovation:

  1. To compete effectively as a new entrant, you have to change the basis of competition;
  • Even mature, conservative markets can be disrupted;
  • Disruptive innovations usually make no sense to the mainstream suppliers or their customers initially;
  • Incumbents' response to disruption are usually late and insufficient because they must serve and defend their current market position.
  • [image: Jimi Hendrix]

    LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

    Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

    Getty Images
    Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

    No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

    Keep reading Show less

    What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

    Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

    Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
    Mind & Brain

    Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

    Keep reading Show less

    A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

    She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

    Strange Maps
    • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
    • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
    • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
    Keep reading Show less

    Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

    It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

    Think Again Podcasts
    • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
    • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
    Keep reading Show less