What makes a disruptive technology?

This article was first seen on – http://betanews.com/2014/08/12/what-makes-a-disruptive-technology/ 

black swan

According to Clayton M Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, disruptive innovations are characterized by their ability to create entirely new markets rather than merely update existing markets with new products. They are black swans, rare events where new thinking and changing markets combine to create radical change.

A common example is the light bulb and Pearl Street Station — a major gamble by Thomas Edison. Within years of its development the kerosene lighting industry was all but non-existent, and the world was a brighter place. (The kerosene industry had similarly put an end to the whaling industry — thankfully — a few decades earlier).

Disruptive innovations also tend to involve making things simpler and cheaper than the alternatives, with unexpected results on multiple sectors. The motor car in the late 1800s was too expensive to be disruptive, but Henry Ford’s innovations in the 20th century made it cheap enough to replace the horse drawn carriage (and suddenly there were no more street dung collectors providing manure for farmer’s crops…)

My company, VisualDNA, sits at the intersection of (at least) four disruptive innovations that have arisen over the last five years and that are already making their impact on global society.

I believe that as these four innovations continue to evolve over the second half of this decade, they will create the perfect conditions for VisualDNA’s unique approach to understanding people to create disruptive change on a global scale, across all industry sectors.

1. Big data

Five years ago this term almost didn’t exist but it is now one of the fastest growing ‘most searched for’ terms on the internet (according to Google Data Trends). Analysts Wikibon predict this new sector will grow from almost nothing in 2010 to $50bn dollars by 2017. A report by PAC predicts big data will impact on every aspect of the global economy during the same period.

PAC also found that the fastest growing area of all will be in services to understand big data. Most big data is historical and transactional. Understanding personality, psychology and motivation are the missing ingredients that will enable deep understanding of intent and truly predictive analytics.

VisualDNA’s unique ability to engage users and turn their personality into digital form will be at the forefront of providing this vital information to power conventional big data.

2. Psychology

Psychology is undergoing a number of dramatic changes as new technology allows us to understand how the brain and personality are linked. Neuroimaging allows us to visually track the workings of the brain and identify how different responses and our emotions work at a chemical and neuron-level. Daniel Kahneman’s work on decision-making and behavioral economics is just starting to make itself felt in the mainstream and will become increasingly influential as real-time big data allows us to understand and model human responses at a macro level. Computer scientists are developing ever more sophisticated simulations and models of the brain allowing experiments and analysis to be performed, changing the way we see the brain and raising the possibility of truly understanding ‘what makes us tick’.

As this understanding develops, it will have a major impact on our understanding of people and how they behave. VisualDNA is already leading the way in understanding how individuals behave online, and through our partnerships and research we will continue to be at the forefront of these developments. [Read more…]

Why WHYAnalytics? The road to Real Time Understanding

Understanding and being understood are profoundly important. They are what make us human, and dictate how we relate to each other as people. Yet while the value of better understanding to both businesses and people is clear, genuine emotional understanding is hard to find in today’s digital world.

This isn’t an easy problem to overcome. The human operating system is, after all, profoundly complex and our behaviour can appear to be irrational and unpredictable to those who don’t know us. And while Big Data can create ‘insight’ on the what, where and when of any website’s audience by analysing its traffic, the very things that actually make people human go unnoticed. I might have bought that book, clicked that link, or shared that photo but no amount of behavioural data can tell you why I did something, predict what I’m going to do next, or tell you who I am on the inside.

So we asked a big question at VisualDNA – what if we could capture a person’s true best online casino emotional persona digitally and make that information useful and valuable for both businesses and the people they serve, and in real time? Imagine a world where any business, large and small could get a real time view of their customers – why they do they things they do. Imagine a world where Real Time Understanding was possible?

We believe we are moving closer to answering that question. Our personality quizzes can uniquely capture a person’s emotions, and people love doing them. We can use this data to understand people on an emotional level: not just making assumption from basic demographics, but using human answers to human question to build a rich picture of who someone is, and why they do the things they do. And from today, we can make some of that information available for businesses in the form of WHYAnalytics, the first of what will be a portfolio of products centred on understanding the ‘why’ of any given audience.

WHYAnalytics is a powerful tool capable of capturing a website’s audience and understanding them in real time, and it will be available to publishers for free. The proposition is simple. If Google Analytics tells you ‘what’ is visiting your site, we’ll tell you ‘why’: it’s the means to the emotional and personality characteristics of your site’s visitors in real time and why they are there.

Why not join our beta programme from today? Find out more at why.visualdna.com