What Do We Mean by Creative Destruction?

by Idris Mootee

iPad DestructionEarlier this month Michael Tompert, a San Francisco digital imaging artist, violently destroyed some brand-new Apple products for the sake of art and the results are a collection high resolution prints with a statement “our relationship with fetish, fashion, freedom, and bondage.

The collection of giant prints including one called “Targeting” that shows a 3G iPhone that’s been shot with a Heckler & Koch handgun. I guess we can call it “creative destruction.” What’s “creative destruction?” It is of communist origin – a term originally derived from Marxist economic theory which refers to the linked processes of the accumulation and annihilation of wealth under capitalism. These processes were first described in The Communist Manifesto and were expanded in Marx’s Grundrisse “Volume IV” (1863) of Das Kapital.

It is about economic innovation, the way in how capitalist economic development arises out of the destruction of some prior economic order. Only since the 50s the “creative destruction” has become more readily identified with economist Joseph Schumpeter who popularized it as a theory of economic innovation and progress. The idea is company needs radical innovation (radical new proposition and business design) and even the most exceptional, enduring corporations cannot continue to beat the capital markets indefinitely – there is no built-to-last. In order to continue to maintain excellence and remain competitive, they must adopt the dynamic strategies of discontinuity and creative destruction. In a simple word-innovation.

What Do We Mean by Creative Destruction?

Foster and Kaplan (McKinsey) in the late 80s examined more than 1,000 companies in 15 industries and discovered that even the best-run and most widely admired companies are unable to sustain market-beating levels of performance for more than 10 to 15 years. This was in the 80s’, with today’s technological progress, we are talking about 5-8 years.

Their research suggested that: “Corporations are built on the assumption of continuity; their focus is on operations. Capital markets are built on the assumption of discontinuity; their focus is on creation and destruction. The data present a clear warning: Unless companies open up their decision-making processes, relax conventional notions of control, and change at the pace and scale of the market, their performances will be drawn into an entropic slide to mediocrity.”

Every company should engineer its own “creative destruction” while they have the resource base to do so and have the luxury to examine and explore new organization design and new mental models. We use strategic foresights and scenario development to show clients the future “creative destructions” that could happen to their industries. They are so real that executives can actually feel the future. Maybe an idea is to take a framed copy of their vision and mission statement, shoot it with a Heckler & Koch handgun and hang a giant high resolution print in the board room to remind them. More business for Michael Tompert and his digital print shop.


What else are they saying about 'Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire'

Don’t miss an article (2,100+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Continuous Innovation group!


Idris MooteeIdris Mootee is the CEO of idea couture, a strategic innovation and experience design firm. He is the author of four books, tens of published articles, and a frequent speaker at business conferences and executive retreats.

No comments

  1. Hi

    We ALL see the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA one dollar bill. We ALL see the servitude infestation in capitalism. We ALL see the “pay up or lose your wellbeing” Chicago mob-like felony extortion widespread within capitalism. We ALL see the “join or starve” felony extortion done to the 18 year olds… by this ugly competer’s church called capitalism. We ALL see how forcing competer’s religions onto 18 year olds, and/or LURING them into it with bling-dangling and promises of empowerments… kills membership in the cooperator’s church (Christianity/socialism). We ALL understand that AmWay (American Way) (New World Order) got “the exclusive” (legal tender) on the TYPE of survival coupons (money) accepted in supply depots (stores) and leverages 18 year olds into the organization via that felony activity. (It puts AmWay-coupon slaving requirements called price tags… on all the survival goods). We ALL understand how sure-to-collapse farmyard pyramids work… from our childhoods. Upper 1/3 are “heads in the clouds” while the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET HURT from the weight of the world’s knees in their backs. And, we ALL see how such systems are illegal, immoral, and just plain sick.

    We American Christian socialists are patiently awaiting the natural fall of the pyramid-o-servitude, or the busting of the free marketeers felony… by the USA Dept of Justice. We Christians are VERY CLOSE to issuing a cease and desist order until the servitude and inequality goes away… which means it turns into a commune. Commune is a word we LOVE when used in the word “community”… but its one the caps HATE when used in the word “commune-ism”. Go fig. PROGRAMMED!!

    Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for ‘pyramid of capitalist’ to see a full color picture made way back in 1911, when capitalism was first discovered to be a con/sham instigated by the Free Masons/Illuminati. Folks sure bought into the thing… hook, line, and sinker just the same. The caps didn’t even check if a string was attached! Now THAT’S easy fishing, eh?

    Time to level the felony pyramid scheme called capitalism. Abolish economies and ownershipism worldwide, and hurry. Economies just cause rat-racing, and rat-racing causes felony pyramiding. BUST IT, America! Look to the USA military supply/survival system… (and the USA public library system) for socialism and morals done right. Equal, owner-less, money-less, bill-less, timecard-less, and concerned with growth of value-criteria OTHER THAN money-value. Quit doing monetary discrimination immediately, and make it illegal. There are MANY measurement criteria of “value”… not just dollars. Try morals, efficiency, discrimination-levels, repairability, etc etc. Economies are cancerous tumors, and to cheer for their growth… is just insane. Profiting causes inflation, so if caps LIKE inflation, and if they LIKE a terrible time in afterlife when they meet the planet’s ORIGINAL OWNER before caps tried to squat it all with ownershipism, then keep it up with the felony pyramiding. I dare you. While us Christians are finally bulldozing that pyramid scheme back to level, lets make servitude and “join or starve” (get a job or die) illegal in the USA, and lets level the architecture seen in USA courtrooms, too. Right now, USA courtrooms are church simulators or “fear chambers”, by special design. Sick.

    Isn’t that back-of-the-dollar pyramid… a Columbian freemason symbol? And WHERE is the USA gov located? District of Columbia? (Not even part of the USA!) How much more blatant can ya get? The “Fed” runs a pyramid scheme called the free marketeers. If you’re using the “federal reserve note” certificates, or using no-other-living-thing-on-the-planet entitles of ownership, you’re bought into a servitude/slavery con/sham… called capitalism. Pyramiding 101.

    Larry “Wingnut” Wendlandt
    MaStars – Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right
    (anti-capitalism-ists)
    Bessemer MI USA

Leave a Reply