The Power of Disruption: Embracing Calmness and Toy-Like Innovations


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 31, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Disruption: Embracing Calmness and Toy-Like Innovations


In today's fast-paced world, where social media giants like Facebook and Twitter dominate the information ecosystem, it is refreshing to explore alternative platforms that offer a different approach. Substack, a newsletter platform, has gained momentum and popularity due to its calmness and focus on reflection. While it may seem like a mere toy at first, it holds the potential to disrupt the existing landscape. Clay Christensen's theory of disruptive technology sheds light on the importance of recognizing the initial dismissal of such innovations. In this article, we will delve into the significance of calmness, the power of disruption, and the potential of toy-like innovations.

The Calmness of Substack:

One of the standout features of Substack is its emphasis on creating a calm space for writers and readers. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are often cluttered with ads, clickbait, and divisive content, Substack allows writers to own their relationships with readers. This ownership grants them the freedom to take those relationships off the platform whenever they wish. In addition, Substack gives readers full control over their feeds, enabling them to curate the content they see. By avoiding retweetable quote-retweets and other culture-war superweapons, Substack fosters a more serene and constructive environment for engagement. This approach to nurturing relationships and promoting calmness is something that Facebook and Twitter could learn from and apply to their platforms.

The Disruptive Nature of "Toys":

Clay Christensen's theory of disruptive technology highlights the consistent dismissal of new innovations as mere toys. However, history has shown us that these "toys" often evolve into major disruptors. When disruptive technologies are first introduced, they may not fully meet user needs. They "undershoot" expectations. However, what distinguishes disruptive toys from those that remain just toys is their ability to adapt and ride the wave of external forces. These forces include factors like decreasing microchip costs, ubiquitous bandwidth, and smarter mobile devices. Successful disruptive technologies are designed to leverage these changes and steadily improve their utility.

The Power of Process:

To understand the potential of disruptive technologies, we must examine products as processes. The speed at which a product evolves and improves is crucial. Take Wikipedia, for example. It is a continually evolving process that faces challenges from spammers, vandals, and other disruptive elements. Yet, every day, the dedicated community of contributors makes it better at an accelerated pace. As long as the process speed of improvement surpasses the rate at which negative elements impact the system, disruptive technologies like Wikipedia have the potential to meet and surpass user needs. Startups that focus on sustaining technologies, on the other hand, are less likely to make a significant impact in the long run.

Embracing Disruptive Technologies:

In 2020 and beyond, the most successful innovations will be those that embrace disruption. While sustaining technologies may garner attention initially, it is the disruptive ones that will ultimately change the game. Dismissed as toys by many, these innovations possess the potential to reshape industries and challenge established norms. By recognizing the value of disruptive technologies and the benefits they bring, we can foster an environment that encourages experimentation and embraces change.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Emphasize calmness and reflection in online platforms: Facebook and Twitter can learn from Substack's approach by prioritizing a serene and constructive environment. By discouraging divisive content and empowering users to curate their feeds, these platforms can create spaces that encourage meaningful engagement.
  • 2. Embrace the power of disruption: Rather than dismissing new innovations as toys, organizations should recognize the potential for disruptive technologies to reshape industries. By staying open to change and exploring new possibilities, businesses can position themselves as leaders in their respective fields.
  • 3. Prioritize process speed and improvement: To ensure the success of disruptive technologies, it is crucial to focus on the speed at which products evolve and improve. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement and encouraging user contributions, companies can keep pace with user needs and surpass expectations.


In a world where Facebook and Twitter dominate the information landscape, platforms like Substack offer a refreshing change. By prioritizing calmness, ownership, and reflection, Substack provides a unique environment for writers and readers. Furthermore, the power of disruptive technologies cannot be underestimated. Recognizing the potential of innovations dismissed as toys can lead to groundbreaking advancements. Embracing disruption, focusing on process speed, and staying open to change are key to navigating the rapidly evolving technological landscape. By incorporating these actionable advice, we can harness the power of disruption and shape a future that embraces innovation.

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