Clay Shirky on disruption, incumbents and inevitability (in the context of Education):
Once you see this pattern—a new story rearranging people’s sense of the possible, with the incumbents the last to know—you see it everywhere. First, the people running the old system don’t notice the change. When they do, they assume it’s minor. Then that it’s a niche. Then a fad. And by the time they understand that the world has actually changed, they’ve squandered most of the time they had to adapt. [...] Massive online open courses expand the audience for education to people ill-served or completely shut out from the current system, in the same way phonographs expanded the audience for symphonies to people who couldn’t get to a concert hall... read more
It's a great read that likens the disruption of Education to that of Music. As Clay says, when you see it once, you see it everywhere. The most recent (and yes, small) example of squandered time and late action? The camera industry's reaction to the role of phones in photography and the app economy. Latest example: the Samsung Galaxy Camera. Who knows...maybe I'm being shortsighted on this one and Samsung is actually the disruptor of the traditional point and shoot market rather than being the incumbent, shaken up by the burgeoning mobile/app economy...but I doubt it.