Disruptive creation

Historically, there have been many occasions when an existing market or technology has been disrupted and made obsolete by a new innovation.

One of the earliest instances of this was the telephone. In the 1800s, Western Union was the telegraph monopoly who controlled the market. They also had their fingers in politics and were fielding their own US presidential candidates. However, with Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone, Western Union’s monopoly was broken and the telephone replaced the telegraph as the most prevalent instrument for communication. Bell’s company (later going by the name of AT&T) was to become a monopoly in it’s own right. As Joseph Schumpeter described it, it was creative destruction in practice.

Similar things happened when the personal computer disrupted the mainframe market and the internet disrupted several markets. I’m sure there will be many more instances of this occurring in the future and the present day.