As investors evaluate business plans there are certain tests to pass.
No matter the size of company, the first test (besides the people) is around the strategy. One thing I have learnt is that the right strategy is unknowable in advance.
I would far rather see that the company has a strategy to learn, rather than a strategy to implement.
All industries are ripe for disruption and that counts whether it’s banking, computers, brokerage, private equity or even the venture capital industry itself. The odds do favour the incumbent but when a “sustaining” technology is introduced, this has the potential to disrupt the current scene. As private equity fund managers know; disrupter companies can be a great investment.
So what makes a good disrupter? Some are obvious but others, not so much. Here's a quick rule of thumb: If the company’s technology gives skills to a less wealthy and skilled large group of people; it is a good indication that it passes the investor test.
The technology has a higher potential to take hold and gain market share. Now you are talking.
If I were to give some advice to “disrupters” or those wanting to be disrupters, it would be that if a business model seems unattractive to the current dominant players, and clearly is not a sustaining technology to anyone else, then you are cleared for a green light.
Time to go for it!
If you want to ponder more on disruptive strategies, I recommend any of Clayton Christenen's articles.