This author, Darwin Bond-Graham, thinks that he can only justify saving the taxi industry from disruptive innovation is because it is dominated by “low income people of color.”
When people say the taxi industry is “ripe for disruption,” what they’re saying, besides the real inefficiencies and problems affecting most big city taxi operations, is that it is a decentralized, highly competitive industry, most of whose owners and operators are low-income people of color, many of who are immigrants. They are susceptible because they are marginalized, and because they lack political and economic clout. In San Francisco the cabbies are definitely a noisy political lobby, but up against the tech and venture capital bosses and entrepreneurs, who are most influential in the Mayor’s office, the cab drivers are impotent.
That’s who is being disrupted, a competitive industry that is owned by, and which employes, working class people of color.
But hey, it’s fine for White Americans to suffer from disruptive innovation! They can handle it!
If you look at any city, it’s a huge jobs program for “people of color,” and not a static population of them, either! Oh no! An ever increasing immigrant population.
Low skill jobs are supposed to be something that sops up a small population of marginally employables. It’s not supposed to be like a cheetoh on the ground at the picnic that attracts the ants from miles around.
At any rate, we have a problem of millions of unemployed Millenial White kids back at home with moms and pops. They need to get out there and become either taxi drivers, or Lyft drivers, or both. These are fun jobs. Why should Yemenis and Somalis get these jobs? They are way way way more fun than office jobs.
Is the only alternative a high paying office job (that yer gonna HATE, I promise) or live in moms basement? Dude, get the fuck out of there! There’s a world of disruptive innovation and awesome shit going on out there. Get involved.
The above article is Bond-Graham’s Alternet piece, here is the same article, written somewhat differently at his own site.
Now it appears we have a (Mormon) theologian of disruptive innovation, Clayton Christensen, whom Darwin Bond-Graham opposes. This guy isn’t necessarily “the good guy,” but he’s someone we’re going to have to pay attention to, and read his writings and follow the trends he’s following:
In every picture he’s got a mad, toothy grin going on.
Clayton Christensen wears many hats in his life: professor, author, entrepreneur, missionary, husband, and father. –
Clayton Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches one of the most popular elective classes for second year students, Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise. He is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth and his ideas have been widely used in industries and organizations throughout the world. A 2011 cover story in Forbes magazine noted that ‘’Everyday business leaders call him or make the pilgrimage to his office in Boston, Mass. to get advice or thank him for his ideas.’’ In 2011 in a poll of thousands of executives, consultants and business school professors, Christensen was named as the most influential business thinker in the world.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Clay worked as a missionary for his church in the Republic of Korea from 1971 to 1973, where he learned to speak fluent Korean. He continues to serve in his church in as many ways as he can.
Professor Clayton received his B.A. in economics, summa cum laude, from Brigham Young University and an M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He subsequently received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1979, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. In 1982 Professor Christensen was named a White House Fellow, and served as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole. He was awarded his DBA from the Harvard Business School in 1992, and became a faculty member there the same year, eventually receiving full professorship with tenure in 1998. He holds five honorary doctorates and an honorary chaired professorship at the Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
Prior to his academic career, Clayton worked as a management consultant with BCG in their Boston office and helped co-found Ceramics Process Systems, a Massachusetts-based advanced materials company. He has subsequently helped establish many other successful enterprises, including the innovation consulting firm Innosight, the public policy think tank Innosight Institute, and the boutique investment firm Rose Park Advisors.
Clay is the best-selling author of nine books and more than a hundred articles. His first book, The Innovator’s Dilemma received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year (1997); and in 2011 The Economist named it as one of the six most important books about business ever written. His other articles and books have received the Abernathy, Newcomen, James Madison, and Circle Prizes. Clay is a five-time recipient of the McKinsey Award, given each year to the two best articles published in the Harvard Business Review; and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tribeca Films Festival (2010).
Clay has served on the Boy Scouts of America for 25 years as a scoutmaster, cubmaster, den leader, troop and pack committee chairman. He and his wife Christine live in Belmont, Massachusetts. They are the parents of five children and grandparents to five grandchildren.
Why I Belong and Why I Believe (pdf)
For an extended biography, see Clayton M. Christensen.
Here’s a youtube video of Christensen talking about disruptive innovation
I don’t know if disruptive innovation is good or bad for us or what, but we better pay attention and look to get ahead of the curves of disruptive innovation. This is a good reason fpr some of us to be living in a major metropolitan — so we are aware of these things when they get started. Uber and Lyft have been around for what, years? I have only heard of it in the last month because I live in a relatively rural, isolated area.
The opportunities to get in on disruptive innovation will keep coming; if you are young and living in moms basement, or any age and your life is going nowhere, go out in the world to a major city and take part in it.