The Unexpected Power of Disruptive Technologies and User Experience


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 02, 2023

3 min read


The Unexpected Power of Disruptive Technologies and User Experience


In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and user experience, it is often the case that the next big thing is dismissed as a mere toy. Clay Christensen's theory of disruptive technology sheds light on the importance of recognizing these seemingly insignificant innovations. This article explores the connection between the dismissive nature of disruptive technologies and the user experience in platforms such as Mercari.

The Undervalued Potential of "Toys":

Disruptive technologies are often disregarded because they initially undershoot user needs. They are seen as toys that lack the sophistication and capabilities of established products. However, what sets disruptive technologies apart is their ability to adapt and improve over time. Microchips becoming cheaper, bandwidth becoming ubiquitous, and mobile devices getting smarter are some of the external forces that pave the way for disruptive technologies to thrive.

Mercari's "Uncool" UI:

One platform that highlights this phenomenon is Mercari. Many users find its user interface (UI) to be unattractive and outdated. However, the adoption of a "dull" UI serves a purpose - to lower the psychological barriers of the selling experience. By not emphasizing the need for high-quality photos or a sophisticated design, Mercari reduces the perceived effort required to list an item for sale.

Simplifying the Selling Experience:

Mercari's core experience revolves around the ability to sell and ship items quickly. It capitalizes on the psychological factors of both reassurance and urgency. The sheer number of listings on the platform creates a sense of reassurance for users, as they perceive that if others can do it, they can too. Simultaneously, the fear of missing out on a sale due to competition creates a sense of urgency and motivates sellers to act promptly.

The Power of Process Speed:

To truly understand the potential of disruptive technologies and their impact on user experience, it is crucial to consider the aspect of process speed. Wikipedia serves as an excellent example of a disruptive technology that continuously improves despite facing challenges such as spam and vandalism. By having good contributors outweigh the bad ones in terms of editing and updating content, Wikipedia steadily meets and surpasses user needs.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Disruption: As an individual or business, be open to exploring and adopting disruptive technologies. These seemingly insignificant innovations have the power to reshape industries and provide unique opportunities.
  • 2. Focus on User Experience: While aesthetics and design play a role in user experience, it is essential to consider the psychological barriers and motivations of your target audience. Simplifying processes and reducing perceived effort can lead to increased adoption and satisfaction.
  • 3. Embrace Continuous Improvement: Process speed and the ability to adapt and improve are crucial factors in the success of disruptive technologies. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement within your organization and prioritize staying ahead of the curve.


The dismissive nature of disruptive technologies and the seemingly uncool UI of platforms like Mercari highlight the importance of looking beyond initial appearances. Embracing disruptive technologies, prioritizing user experience, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement can position individuals and businesses at the forefront of innovation. By recognizing the potential of "toys," we can uncover the next big thing and shape the future of technology.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)