It is common for a disruptive technology to be itself disrupted. For example, VCRs disrupted the entertainment industry only to be largely replaced with DVDs. DVDs in turn were disrupted by the internet and streaming media.
Example of Disruptive Effect
Completely changed history with impact on transportation and the movement of goods.
Transformed agriculture and allowed for larger human populations.
Transportation and military power based on horses. Changed history by creating power imbalances.
Coins and later paper money
Greatly increased commerce. Largely displaced inefficient commodity currencies such as sacks of rice.
Communication, politics and culture.
Navigation, contributed to global discovery, trade and imperialism. Contributed to the spread of technology and knowledge on a global basis.
Society, economics and culture. Allowed for more precise coordination and cooperation.
Transformed warfare, politics and history by creating vast power differences.
Transportation and manufacturing. A basis for the industrial revolution.
Factory automation such as the spinning jenny
Helped to create the industrial revolution that greatly increased standard of living in several nations. Changed the labor market creating something of a panic.
Transformed societies, economies and cultures by allowing vast regions to be interconnected with efficient transportation.
Represented a threat to art which survived. Changed media such as newspapers.
Electricity generators, grids and related technologies such as electrical lighting.
Created the modern world as we know it. Greatly transformed lifestyles, economics and culture. Opened up the night and changed sleeping habits.
Communication, industry and society.
Communication, culture, contributed to globalization by expanding the ability to communicate instantly.
Phonograph & Gramophone
Sheet music, playing piano at home as entertainment. Created the first mass market for musical recordings. Transformed lifestyles and stimulated the imagination. Created the modern music industry.
The first true mass media that centralized communication with a profound influence on culture.
Storytelling, culture and communication. Films had a profound impact on the development of ideas and language.
Horses, transformed cities and changed lifestyles.
Lifestyles, food safety and the food industry.
Travel, business, ocean liners and rail. Contributed to globalization.
Lifestyles, society and communication. Synchronized culture around entertainment produced by a relatively small number of media companies.
A vast number of chemical products at low cost that transformed industry, economics, consumption and the environment.
Transformed the cost and design of an incredible array of products. Was the basis for other disruptive technologies such as VCR tapes.
Greatly influenced politics and warfare by making a large conflict between superpowers unthinkable. Represented the first global existential risk controlled by humans.
Greatly increased commerce, travel and globalization.
Disrupted mainframes and enterprise software with a long term shift known as consumerization whereby firms started using more hardware and software designed for consumers. Partially democratized access to computing.
In combination with personal computers, this disrupted the typewriter.
Science, biology and medicine.
Biotechnology, agriculture, food and medicine.
Landlines, culture and work.
Cameras, film and film processing. Allowed photos to be taken a zero cost thus changing culture.
Industries, organizations, culture and way of life on global basis.
Research methods, information habits and access to information.
Mail, telephones and paper based office processes such as memos.
CDs, music shops and the music industry.
Societies, politics, social processes, culture, media industries and marketing.
Thinking, behavior, social processes and communication. Democratized media and internet access on a global basis.
Paper maps and navigation.
Hardware, software and data storage practices. Allowed small companies to scale resulting in disruption to most industries. This is ongoing.
Television, cable television, movie theaters, entertainment industry and music industry.
The internal combustion engine.
Potential to disrupt manufacturing.
Virtual reality and augmented reality
Real world experiences, working environments and interactions.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
In progress, likely to disrupt most industries and professions. Hopefully, as a tool for humans to use.
In progress, likely to be involved in many industries such as agriculture. Militarized.
In progress, likely to be involved in every industry. Likely to be militarized.