Disruptive technology, also called disruptive innovation, is a technology that has the potential to completely displace existing product solutions or services. In most cases, the innovations create completely new markets with new market leaders.
Examples of disruptive technologies include the personal computer, which has replaced the typewriter and totally changed the workplace and communication; email, another example of disruptive technology, has essentially replaced traditional correspondence with letters; and notebooks have enabled mobile computing, which allows people to communicate from any location. The invention of USB flash drives has completely replaced the floppy disk market, as has the digital downloading of music as opposed to purchasing traditional compact discs(CDs).
There are hundreds of examples of disruptive technology, the concept of which was first described in 1995 by Clayton Christensen and Joseph Bower of Harvard Business School.