The platforms by which new innovations are driven generally do not pop into existence overnight; they experience a long lead up before widespread adoption drives their success. Christensen’s models of disruption give some clarity on this phenomenon, but this is another take. A view that ecosystems evolve and create new innovations from ensembles of ideas. The point when a new technology is discovered, a new idea is developed, or an invention comes to light, is called the point of breakthrough. The breakthrough point could provide an entity with the opportunity to become a prime mover in an industry, utilizing the new technology or invention to drive their success effectively. Always though, we find there is a long period of time between the breakthrough point and its widespread adoption.
The breakthrough of a new technology or means of operating is generally followed by a period of lag-time. We will return to the business model later, and instead turn our attention to the processes behind the adoption of a breakthrough invention to create an emergent platform from which to innovate and drive growth. The platform in this context is not necessarily a service delivery platform, but the platform by which any industry (product or services) expands its growth.
The emergent platform resulting from a breakthrough point may not exist in a single industry either, but exist across a spectrum of industries where it has commercial benefit. Take digital imaging as an example: it is a platform that has been enlarged by the mobile phone, camera, computer, and advertising industries, to name a few. The platform it creates is consistent in what it does, but it does not belong to a single industry. To successfully innovate and drive an organization to economic success, you must recognize the process that an invention undergoes from its inception at the breakthrough point to its commercial adoption and success.