Right Tech, Wrong Time
by Ron Adner and Rahul Kapoor
FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS, “creative destruction” has been a source of fascination at top-tier business schools and in magazines like this one. The almost obsessive interest in this topic is unsurprising, given the ever-changing, never-ending list of transformative threats—which today include the internet of things, 3-D printing, cloud computing, personalized medicine, alternative energy, and virtual reality.
Our understanding of the shifts that disrupt businesses, industries, and sectors has profoundly improved over the past 20 years: We know far more about how to identify those shifts and what dangers they pose to incumbent firms. But the timing of technological change remains a mystery. Even ...