Boston Scientific co-founder John Abele on disruption
John Abele spent his keynote address talking about the challenges of disruptive technology and his punchy jokes about today’s political climate were show-stopping.
He told the crowd about things that can present a problem for companies hoping to be disruptive and many of them have nothing to do with technology.
“It’s not just the technological aspects of disruption that are problematic, it’s all the factors. You can be killed by Twitter today,” he said.
Abele discussed how to bring about disruptive technology, specifically referencing innovations within the endovascular space. He told the story of Andreas Gruentzig, a German radiologist who pioneered the 1st successful balloon angioplasty.
“He thought a lot about once you solve a problem, how do you get it out to the marketplace? In fact, marketplace is probably the wrong word: How do you get it accepted by the public at large?” Abele explained.
Abele pointed out that Gruentzig had a variety of characteristics that helped propel him to success – he was a clinician, as well as a great communicator and educator.
“He personally reviewed each sale. He really cared,” Abele said. “He recognized that the early users are going to determine the reputation of whatever it is you’re doing.”
His advice to up-and-coming groups hoping to be disruptive? “You’ve got to define the field.”