Look up the word disrupter and you'll likely run across phrases such as "destroy" and "cause turmoil." It's a serious word, with dire implications for the status quo.
You'd think it would take billions to rewrite the business model for entire industries, but that's not always the case. As the companies profiled on the following pages demonstrate, sometimes disruption is simply about wanting to make something better. And armed with a savvy acumen for spotting opportunity, these companies followed through on that goal, sparking revolutions within their respective fields of dining, HD video, media, photography and travel.
The consumer will ultimately decide whether these ideas become routine and transform the way everyone lives. But we do know that these companies will mete out a level of creative destruction on the entrenched businesses in each of their industry sectors.
If everything works out for our disrupters, they'll enjoy their own version of what we're calling the "Instagram moment." That's when a company has so changed consumer behavior that going backward is inconceivable--that an entire field of technology becomes associated with one brand name. With the photo-sharing app Instagram, tens of millions of people have adopted a new concept of what a snapshot means. Facebook noticed and snapped up the 13-person operation for a cool $1 billion. Contrast that with Kodak, the bankrupt company that invented the snapshot more than 100 years ago: Its market valuation on the day of Instagram's purchase was less than $80 million.
That's disruption for you.
Lytro reinvents the digital camera and creates "computational photography"