Distruptive Technologies

Today in Investor's Business Daily stock analysis and business news:

"IBD: So are today's media companies doomed?

Miron: At the start of a disruptive technology coming into an industry, everybody recoils in horror about how their profits are going to get cratered. About 10 years later the industry is 10 times bigger.

IBD: Examples?

Miron: I was in the wireless (telecom) business in the mid-1990s when the PCS companies (rivals who used newly licensed radio frequencies) launched. I was at AirTouch Communications in 1996. The average revenue per minute across our North American markets was 41.5 cents.

January 1997, Sprint PCS launches in San Diego offering 10-cent minutes. That's a 75% reduction. Prevailing opinion on Wall Street was something called profitless prosperity: Everybody will have a wireless phone, but it'll descend into a price war.

What they missed was all the applications it unleashed: people using wireless phones as their only phone, multiple wireless connections, rich media, text messaging or wireless e-mail.

Now the wireless business is 10 to 20 times bigger than anything anyone would have bought. (The industry was) using a rearview mirror."