The amazing thing about technology is how it totally disrupts the entire world. A simple black powder known as gunpowder is one such technology that literally shaped the world we live in today. Gunpowder is considered a technology because it was created by man from other substances. In fact, it is regarded as one of the Four Great Inventions of China.

There have been countless technologies that have been created since gunpowder, but one that comes to mind as having completely changed the entire course of mankind is electricity. There has been an infinite number of technologies born from man’s ability to harness electricity, including the computer and subsequently the internet.

Much like gunpowder and electricity, the computer continues to transform how the human species evolves. Now the internet is yet another technology that is pushing the world forward faster than many of us can keep up. Because of this rapid change, organizations can’t afford to stay behind technological evolution, especially not in this day and age.  

The Latest Disruption Turning Things Upside Down

Software as a Service (SaaS) has been around for quite a long time. Nevertheless, the whole bottom-up distribution of technology within the business world has truly changed the way CEOs, CIOs and IT managers deal with technology transformations. One example that stands out from many in the vast universe of SaaS is Slack. However, Slack is not the only SaaS company run with a bottom-up sales philosophy. Some of the bigger examples include Atlassian, Box, and MongoDB.

However, what separates Slack from the other SaaS companies is the fact that it also acts as an enabler for other applications, allowing them to use Slack as a distribution channel to reach teams and individuals.” The list of other apps it enables is long, but a few of them are DropBox, PayPal, Twitter, and Donut.

Bottom-up Versus Top-Down Innovation

Both bottom-up and top-down innovation models should be considered by CIO’s and IT management professionals. One method is not inherently better than the other, and it depends on the company and who is involved. However, there should be some accountability involved regardless of which innovation model is used. These two models are embodied by two very different types of technology companies.

The first of these is Tesla, which is run by Elon Musk. Tesla is a great example of top-down innovation. The second example is Google, which is a company that thrives on bottom-up innovation. Innovative ideas are strongly driven by Tesla’s company’s founder, and those ideas are then handed to the senior leaders who organize the process from vision to reality. The employees of Tesla simply buy in or align themselves with the whole process.

Google, on the other hand, has a totally different way of doing things. They are fueled by the creative and innovative minds of many. It is driven by entrepreneurs and is supported by a top management emphasis on creativity and the development of a can-do culture.

As you can see, both companies have fared very well using both tactics. Musk’s approach is more old-school, while Google’s is the new way businesses are tapping into the hidden talents of their best resource – its employees. You can never go wrong by getting insight from the bottom. After all, most of the consumers that companies wish to engage are normal, working class people.