Media Observations – Disruptive/Sustaining Innovations

Disruptive innovations are one of the more fascinating concepts I’ve encountered while learning of the mass media. They explain the observation I’ve made of when we really start to accept a new service, device, or technology in society. There is always a period of testing and eliminating bugs which refines the product. Before this is done, it is unlikely that a general consumer base will accept it. Afterward, however, it becomes obvious even to a casual observer that now, as opposed to before the refinement of the product, adopting the new product and abandoning the old is now worth the temporary, and relatively slight, drop in performance required as the new product goes through its own sustaining innovations.
One example of this is found in Native Americans adopting gunpowder weapons during the colonization of the western United States. They could previously use bows and arrows much more effectively, but the new technology was deemed useful or powerful enough by them to leave the old technology and adopt a new one with an overall performance drop, in this case accepting the slow rate of fire of the rifle over the rapidity of the arrow.
What kinds of advances do you see taking the place of the current status quo?
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