A type of innovation which creates new markets, or fundamentally alters the dynamic and hierarchy of an existing one by introducing unexpected creative changes in a product, service, process or technology. Often the creative change will bring simplicity (and intuitiveness), affordability, convenience or accessibility to an area where existing products or technologies are complex or expensive.

A large number of blue chip company failures have been attributed to the effects of disruptive innovation, which are all the more difficult to compensate than they are unexpected, and thus present a critical risk.

see also: sustaining innovation related articles: dr robert cooper on innovation and the future of stage-gatemore insights by dr robert cooper on innovation and the future of stage-gate