One of the best end-of-the-year “lists” we’ve come across is Businessweek’s The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History. We’ve loaded it onto our phone to read in spare moments about the influence of the Polaroid, whiteboards, contact lenses, smartphones, the sharing economy, bottled water, Power Point, Parkinson’s Law, Open Source, and Motown, to name a few. (Listen to Motown founder Barry Gordy’s personal playlist.)

It’s made us wonder about the word disruptive. In business, disruptive innovation “describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors. ” 

On a simpler and more personal level, disruption could be thought of as radical change due to the introduction of a new idea driving a different way of doing things. 

As the year draws to a close, we’re taking stock:

Just what have been the most disruptive ideas and forces in our/your life?

Yves Klein/Shunk Kender
Yves Klein/Shunk Kender


Bottom photo: Le Saut dans le vide (Leap into the Void); Photomontage by Shunk Kender of a performance by Klein at Rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960


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