Looking for Disruptive Innovation? Check Your Appliances

Disruptive Innovation is a concept commonly discussed with modern technological platforms such as music, movies and cell phones, but Max Roser, a famous internet research analysts, proved that the most disruptive technologies areactually in common household items. The study basically shows that over the last century the invention of household applications such as the refrigerator, washer and vacuum exponentially decreased the amount of time needed to perform these tasks prior to the inventions. The inventions have managed to slowly ween out tactics that were previously necessary without the appliances, such as “picking and smoking food in order to preserve it”. In the 70 year timeframe of 1900-1970 the average amount of time spent on household chores per week dropped by forty hours and the number has only fallen since then. This enhanced free time around the house made it substantially easier for women to enter the work force as well, now that much less time was needed to maintain a home. It is an interesting way to apply the concept of disruptive innovation to the basic upgrade of household appliances, yet it is a perfect example. In this particular case the effects, more time and less work, are truly beneficial to everyone.

See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/14/the-most-disruptive-technology-of-the-last-century-is-in-your-house/

3 thoughts on “Looking for Disruptive Innovation? Check Your Appliances

  1. I never thought about those household appliances are disruptive innovations. The household appliances are saving our time, which help us focus on other things we have to do. And if you look at the data, it is crazy to do about 60 hours housework every week for anyone who has other works to do. So if you consider all those helpful household appliances are disruptive innovations, I am looking forward to know what else the scientists are going to consider as disruptive innovations.

  2. I am amazed I never would have thought of a common household appliance such as a vacuum cleaner as a disruptive innovation. Anymore these appliances are commonplace in the average American home. This topic really helps putting innovations in perspective. Now I’m curious to see what is viewed as commonplace in 40 to 70 years, that we see as a disruptive innovation today.

  3. I would have never thought to relate disruptive innovation to something like household appliances but this makes perfect sense. It was crazy to think of all the tasks that we no longer need to perform because we have these appliances. Convergence also comes into play when you look at modern household appliances. Some modern appliances, such as refrigerators, have the stream TV as well as access the Internet. These refrigerators contain screens that let their owners view the material they wish to access. Isn’t it crazy to think we will be checking our email on our fridge while getting a cup of morning orange juice?

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