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Disruptive Innovation Technology Examples That Are Redefining Industries

By Darin Soat, Jun 25, 2024

Innovation drivers, disruptive innovative technology, invest in innovative companies

Disruptive innovation is a transformative force reshaping industries, economies, and societies in the modern world. From healthcare to finance, these innovations are not just incremental improvements but transformative changes that redefine existing markets. This article explores the industries that are built by disruptive innovators, illustrating how small-scale innovations lead to major shifts and highlighting the potential benefits for accredited investors.

Innovations Can Change the World

Innovations, both big and small, have the power to change the world. Sometimes, breakthroughs come from improving existing processes and creating new business models to meet customer or market demands. Take, for instance, the way ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have transformed how we call taxis. We never expected such a simple app to make our lives so much easier, yet it revolutionized the entire transportation system. This shows how disruptive innovations can impact our daily lives in profound ways by innovating in an existing market.

Another prime example is the shift from physical media to on-demand streaming, an innovative business model that brought movies directly to our homes instead of making trips to the movie rental store. Companies introducing digital downloads have made it easier and more efficient for consumers to access entertainment, reducing the need for physical copies and trips to rental stores.

This is also referred to as “removing friction” which former PayPal Mafia member and Craft Ventures Partner David Sacks obsesses with. Reducing friction often involves strategies to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. Sometimes, however, it’s more than just removing friction. Often, especially in the case of food technology, it involves scientific breakthroughs which lead to new goods and services. Most of the companies that develop these innovative business models are not your established companies, but new players hungry to become the next disruptive innovator. These innovations often emerge unexpectedly, offering new conveniences and efficiencies that rapidly become indispensable.

4 Disruptive Innovation Examples

1. Culinary Innovation: New Technologies Transforming Food

The culinary industry is undergoing a transformation driven by concerns about sustainability and ethics. Traditional food production methods are being reimagined, leading to disruptive innovations that we never imagined possible.

Eat Just, for example, has made headlines with its plant-based eggs and lab-grown proteins. These alternatives not only cater to the growing demand for sustainable food options but also address ethical concerns related to animal farming. According to MarketsandMarkets the lab-grown meat market share is expected to grow at 16.5% per year through 2034.

Bar chart showing the cultured meat market's global forecast from 2023 to 2034 in USD billion

Meal replacements like Soylent are also making waves. Once seen as a niche product, Soylent has become a staple for many busy professionals and health-conscious individuals, offering a convenient and nutritious alternative to traditional meals.

2. Disruptive Innovation Examples in Healthcare

The healthcare industry, comprising 20% of GDP and growing, faces a pressing need for streamlining care processes, improving diagnostics, providing more affordable medical services, and enhancing overall patient care. Disruptive innovations are meeting these needs in remarkable ways.

Bar chart illustrating U.S. health spending as a percentage of GDP from 1980 to 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing diagnostics, with companies like using AI algorithms to increase the speed and accuracy of diagnoses and care. By integrating machine learning with medical imaging, can detect conditions like strokes more quickly than traditional methods, potentially saving lives and significantly improving patient outcomes.

Wearables such as the Apple Watch and WHOOP are becoming personal health concierges, offering real-time health tracking and insights. These devices are essentially putting a physician on your wrist, providing 24/7 monitoring and personalized health advice, significantly improving patient outcomes by leveraging real-time data.

Wellness is also a significant focus, with companies like Gympass offering employers a simple way for employees to access a large network of gyms and wellness services, promoting healthier lifestyles.

3. Aerial Innovations: Drone Technologies in Defense and Logistics

Drone technology is adding a new dimension to logistics and defense, changing the way we see and interact with the world.

In defense, drones have revolutionized battlefield strategies and national security monitoring. They offer unparalleled surveillance capabilities and can be deployed in situations too dangerous for human personnel.

Start Investing in Innovative Technologies

Zipline, a startup specializing in drone logistics, is transforming healthcare delivery by transporting vital health supplies across areas lacking infrastructure. Their drones can deliver blood, vaccines, and medications to remote locations, significantly improving healthcare accessibility. This innovation also enhances supply chain management by ensuring timely and efficient delivery of critical supplies.

4. Fintech Evolution: Innovative Technologies in Digital Finance

The financial industry, built on decades-old systems, is ripe for disruption. Startups in the fintech space are making financial transactions faster, more efficient, and more accessible.

Stripe is a prime example, simplifying online payments for businesses of all sizes. By providing a seamless payment processing platform, Stripe has become essential for many startups and e-commerce businesses.

Brex is another innovator, offering frictionless banking solutions tailored for startups. Their platform streamlines financial operations, helping businesses manage their finances more effectively.

Investment platforms like Acorns are democratizing finance, allowing individuals to invest spare change from everyday purchases. This approach makes investing accessible to a broader audience, promoting financial inclusion and enabling users to take control of their financial futures.

List of FinTech services including Online Banking, e-Banking Security, Direct Payment, Payment Gateway, Robo-Advisors, Investment, and Cryptocurrency

Charting the Future: Disruptive Innovations Reshape Industries

Innovation within industries can radically change how we live, work, and interact with the world. From culinary advancements to healthcare breakthroughs, drone logistics, and fintech solutions, disruptive innovations are reshaping industries and driving significant changes. Investors should keep a keen eye on these developments, as they offer promising opportunities for financial growth and portfolio diversification.

Disruptive innovation is tough, but necessary for keeping up with rising competition in both new markets and existing markets. It’s important that you research whether the companies in your portfolio or that you’re evaluating are building sustaining innovations. You can ask yourself if the companies you’re interested in are following these steps outlined by Lane Lambert from the Harvard Business School.

Embracing disruptive innovations can lead to a more sustainable, efficient, and connected world, encouraging established businesses to embrace innovation and remain competitive in the rapidly evolving landscape.


Darin Soat

Darin Soat

Darin Soat is Linqto's Head of Community and Education. Prior to joining Linqto, he spent half a decade in investment banking doing mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare and technology industries, most recently in San Francisco for Cain Brothers. While in investment banking, Darin held his FINRA Series 63 & 79 licenses. Darin also created one of the leading business and economics-focused YouTube channels, and has gained over million subscribers. He is based in Los Angeles.