Last month, Clayton Christensen’s favored theory of disruptive innovation was ripped apart by the New Yorker, and then put back together again in Businessweek.

Defining a Disruptor

Love the term or hate it, there’s no doubt disruptors challenge the status quo. “Because it’s always been done that way,” is not in their vocabulary. They’re risk-takers and change advocates who are unafraid of the controversy and resistance stirred up by their ideas.

Being a disruptor sure can come with its fair share of misinterpretation as well. Nathan Myhrvold, our cofounder and CEO, has said, “You can’t do anything significant in life if you’re not willing to be misunderstood for some period of time.” This requires courage and a strong belief in your mission – a willingness to step into a different territory and to create something new.

In the business of invention, challenging the status quo is a necessity. At Intellectual Ventures, we’re proud to consider ourselves disruptors –  we aren’t shy about taking risks; we’ve built the invention capital market from scratch and fundamentally believe invention is the foundation for solving the world’s toughest challenges.

For more insight into just a few of the disruptors we work with, check out 700 for Science’s interview with Global Good’s Maurizio Vecchione or Nathan’s “Funding Eureka!” article in the Harvard Business Review.


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