I will particularly speak of the nature of such technologies, the place of wireless and the Internet in care industry.
If the market leader focuses on a single performance metric, but the market is not demanding that particular performance, it would offer opportunities for disruptive technologies. A disruptive technology is one that offers less performance than the leading technology, but more on a different and new dimension. Since industry leaders frequently ignore the "illperforming product," they are often surprised when the product becomes better over time and significantly disrupts the industry. We all know what the PC did to the mainframe.
There is a second category of disruptive technologies, for which revenues are already significantly higher: new devices. Palm Pilots, Pocket PCs, and Web-enabled mobile phones are fast-growing examples of this category, but its proponents are much more ambitious. Michael Dertouzos, who was the director of MIT's Media Lab, called the developers to arms to "kill the PC." Dertouzos's setup project, Oxygen, aims to develop a new platform using a constellation of devices that hear, see, and respond to the user's every need. There is a strong feeling among computer gurus that there is room for a new "device world," in which ever-increasing bandwidth connects all kinds of devices. In that world, it is no longer high-performance, high-computing power that is valuable, but the constellation of devices.
Bower and Christensen developed a framework for grappling with disruptive technologies. They claim that some of the deliberate strategic choices firms make, such as staying close to customers, are the root causes for failure in embracing technological innovations. The Bower-Christensen approach can be simplified into four fundamental questions. We will pose the questions and, to explain them, simultaneously illustrate how nanotechnology will affect the photolithographic-equipment manufacturing industry:
1. Is the technology disruptive or sustaining The first step is to determine that the technology is indeed disruptive to the firm's existing business. Nanotechnology will be disruptive to manufacturers of photolithographic equipment, who will have to migrate to manufacturing nanolithographic equipment that is capable of producing structures smaller than 100nm.
2. What is its strategic significance Why should a photolithographicequipment manufacturer react The answer to this question lies in the value creation to the end user. Since nanolithography will result in improved speed and accuracy of building nanolevel structures, it will eventually result in significantly more powerful microprocessors. There is clear evidence of value creation from the improved process.
3. What is the initial market How can the photolithographicequipment manufacturer capture the value it creates Since the technology creates value for computer users, chip manufacturers would pay for the improved tools. The initial market would be large chip