Disruptive innovations are inferior

Disruptive innovations are perceived to be inferior to whatever an incumbent enterprise offers. Both the buyers and sellers agree to look down on the disruption. The innovation poses no immediate threat to the provider and no temptation to the customer. Business as usual works for both sides of the established bargain.

Here's a disruptive innovation I've been brewing of late: The customers will be college dropouts and their grandparents. Neither have a use for a diploma, but they both need for some real education to cope with deep changes in world economies, resources and climate. Learners will become prepared to free lance, network and mentor others, not get a job in a "paycheck prison". The education process would not require reading comprehension or completing an assignment with no help from anyone. The natural ways the customers get value from this innovation will be as ecological as permaculture farming. The projects, relationships and enterprises they get practice creating will be inherently sustainable, adaptable and resilient. The community they learn within will be a lesson in itself. They will learn as much from how they learn without classrooms as what they gained better comprehension of and abilities in.

This approach is "obviously inferior" to the incumbent sellers and buyers of accredited degree programs. The innovation lacks credentials to confer on graduates who then become proud alumni making generous donations back to their alma mater. It lacks experts in the fields of academic research who convey the best findings from their exacting disciplines in lectures and textbooks. It lacks the quality control measures of rigorous solo examinations and uniform compliance with prerequisite course requirements.

This disruption is as lacking as early phonograph records were compared to live performances, as the first transistorized televisions were compared to big screen consoles, and as home video recording was compared to sitting in a crowded movie theater. It will never happen as a sustainable innovation inside incumbent commercial systems. It will only happen separate from the momentum of academia.

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