Disruption: The new normal?

Recently, I have been reading headlines from hotel distribution conferences and articles in preparation for our spring undergraduate distribution and channel marketing course which boast the headline that includes “disruption.”

What is so new about disruption? I remember when Philip Wolf, visionary founder of PhoCusWright, made my NYU Tisch Center class in travel technology get AOL email accounts back in the 1990s. Students were outraged. Email was a disrupter then. Entire libraries were written about etiquette of email, managing your day differently, and we still debate when to use email and when to simply pick up the phone and talk to someone.

Of course mobile is a disrupter, as was user generated content which has taken many forms from blogs to consumer reviews. Isn’t the Internet of Things a disrupter? Ironically, every time a technology furthers and increases communication between people in ways to make life better, more informed, easier, it may very well be labeled a disrupter. Once digital became ubiquitous, disruption may very well be the new normal.

How would you describe disruption? Is disruption just the “new normal?”