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Disruptive Innovation: Disrupting Lightning

Disruptive Innovation: Disrupting Lightning
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Lightning Protection Blog

Week 114 | July 30, 2015

In 1995 Clayton Christensen introduced us to the term ‘Disruptive Innovation’ in an article “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave” (co-written with Joseph Bower) and expanded on the definition more thoroughly in “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, published in 1997.

Simply, Disruptive Innovation is:

“An innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.”

You may ask yourself, why the LightningDiva is writing about this? Well, this week I have been hearing a lot about Disruptive Innovations with regard to Uber and AirBnB (best referred to by John Heilemann on Morning Joe) and it crossed my mind, that months ago, one of our owners asked me if I could use the term Disruptive Innovation as it pertains to Lightning Eliminators in advertising and articles. My response at the time was that we cannot determine ourselves a Disruptive Innovation, the public must.

However, upon reflection it has occurred to me that way before Clayton Christensen coined the phrase and even now, we are actually the epitome of Disruptive Innovation, but subsequently it also became clear that unlike Uber and AirBnB our industry is so specialized, and unique (which it should not be, but is) that the public/market might never know or be able to determine us such. So, why not! Not only are we a Disruptive Innovation, we disrupt one of the oldest technologies still in existence by one of the most famous inventors in history, Ben Franklin and his lightning rod. Even more interesting, we disrupt lightning. The trifecta of Disruptive Innovation! Wow! Wow! Wow! Not only do we meet the criteria we blow it out of the water.

I have written before about our technology prevention rather than collection. I have also written about the lightning rod and ESEs. I have written about others who are attempting to duplicate our technology. I have even written about our market, which is reactive, rather than proactive. What I have not addressed is how a small company such as ours, in an industry that is so saturated by one technology can overcome the rhetoric and begin to be recognized for its achievements and for the innovations it has achieved. It boggles this girl’s mind how everyone is not investing in lightning protection and those that do rely on a solution that in almost 300 years old, which will collect a strike into their environment? But I digress because I am not looking for sympathy, I am looking for answers? When you are not dealing with the consumer marketing and/or are dealing with B2B markets whereby this is something they either don’t want to publicize (you try getting an oil and gas, energy, logistics, electric power company to admit they might have a problem with lightning publically!)

Transportation and hotels, travels are all big consumer markets, so the demand is high and the visibility is as well. We have no visibility, we are competing in a niche market and worse they don’t want anybody to know!

What’s a company to do? I’ll tell you.

Lightning Eliminators the original Disruptive Innovator!

Yes, I did it. We are a Disruptive Innovator and I am yelling it from the rafters and mountain tops! With 3200 plus installations worldwide in over 90 countries across more than 32 industries in a good number of the Global 500 companies I feel confident that I can take the title for ourselves. While we might not be Uber and/or AirBnB, we have gotten a lot of engineers who have been using a 300 year old technology pretty peeved at us! I think that says a lot!

In the early 1900’s people were scared of the light bulb and electricity. Folks swore that the automobile was a passing fancy, and would never amount to much; Airplanes would never replace ocean liners and trains; The Phone was evil! Well, look where we are today!

Distruptive Innovations, new technology, lightning, Electricity

My point is that Disruptive Innovations should be embraced. Because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t make it right or the best, it just means that people didn’t know how or were not willing to get out of their box! That it works is all that matters. The Pony Express worked, but don’t you prefer email?

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If you have any lightning stories you would like to share with us, positive or negative and/or if you have any questions or need additional information please feel free to contact me at

Be careful out there! Visit for all your lightning protection needs. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for more information and updates as well as some great photos.

The LightningDiva@Large

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