Disruptive Innovation vs Radical Innovation: What’s the Difference?

Phil McKinney
6 min readSep 13, 2022
Comparing disruptive innovation to radical innovation by showing the difference between the term disruptive and radical

Innovation can be classified into two main types: disruptive innovation and radical innovation. Disruptive innovation is an idea that improves upon an existing market by exceeding the needs of a customer base, eventually displacing the old market. Radical innovation destroys the current market and value network, creating an entirely new one.

Another way to think about it is that radical innovations challenge the status quo and create something new. Disruptive innovations are those that make an existing product or service obsolete.

Many believe that both disruptive and radical innovation result from chance or luck. However, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that they result from a specific mindset and approach to problem-solving.

So, what is the secret to consistently creating disruptive and radical innovations?

What is Disruptive Innovation?

There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating disruptive innovations. First, it’s essential to understand the existing market and value network. Next, you need to identify gaps or shortcomings in the current market. And finally, you need to create something that fills that gap and provides more value than is currently available.

Several famous examples of disruptive innovations, such as the iPhone, disrupted the existing smartphone market by offering a better user experience and more features than the competition. Uber also disrupted the taxi industry by providing a better and more convenient alternative to traditional taxis.

Creating Disruptive Innovation

So how can you create your disruptive innovation? Here are a few tips:

1. Study the existing market and identify any gaps or shortcomings.

It’s no secret that to create disruptive innovation, you need to do your research and understand…



Phil McKinney

// Author of Beyond The Obvious // Host of Killer Innovations podcast // Pres & CEO of CableLabs // Retired HP CTO // All opinions are mine //