Apple Specializing in Cross-Boundary Disruption

Apple is showing how it can cross industry boundaries and shake up a tired industry with innovation combined with some muscle, according to Forbes on Monday. Itis called "cross-boundary disruption."

One of those industries that was ripe for a shake up was the music industry. The current target of Apple is, of course, the mobile phone industry, and many are watching how Apple has achieved its success -- or teaching students about it. Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, is currently teaching a class at the Stanford business school on innovation in industries ready for disruption, namely, the automobile industry, media, health care and telecommunications.

In his class Mr. Grove points to a checklist of symptoms when an industry is ripe for disruption: slow growth, no evolution of the business model, and incumbents whoive set rules that benefit themselves.

Apple has done that, according to Elizabeth Corcoran at Forbes, by having a deep understanding that music was not just about cool looking Walkmans but about software that integrates everything. Disrupters are hungry and take a risk. They can also see the weaknesses in the old, static industry.

"The fundamental difference between the iPhone and everyone elseis phone, once again, has also been in how Apple organizes the myriad of functions and resources on the phone--again, software," Ms. Cordoran wrote. "The rest of the device -- even the lovely big screen -- is just a window into how Apple thinks about organizing the world."

Now, Apple has moved from music to applying those disruption techniques to the mobile phone industry. Google is in that category as well. Both companies know how to exploit, as the author put it, "the power of the crowd," to assist with their disruption that, in the end, only benfits the consumer.