17 November 2020
Unsplash © Prateek Katyal

What does true startup disruption look like?

What does Blockbuster Video have to do with the concept of startup disruption in the 2020s? Disruption is one of those startup terms that I hate even though I love what it means. The term gets tossed around too often, used out of context, and casually stamped on ideas that aren’t as disruptive as they are just… stupid.

Disruption isn’t about lofty valuations or skirting regulations or moving fast and breaking stuff. It’s about getting a whole lot of people to try the unconventional while burying the fact that they’ll need to give up the traditional. Disruption is about selling change, discomfort, inconvenience, and a lot of other things people hate.

“I have nightmares…”

Welcome to Blockbuster Video

Netflix — rentals to your door

Why the hell am I paying late fees?

Renting videos versus borrowing movies

Blockbuster fights back, then inexplicably pulls back

Netflix moves to streaming (and almost kills it), then content

The concept of continuous disruption

This article was originally published on Medium by Joe Procopio

Joe Procopio is a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. In 2015, he sold Automated Insights to Vista Equity Partners. In 2013, he sold ExitEvent to Capitol Broadcasting. Before that, he built Intrepid Media, the first social network for writers. You can read more and sign up for his newsletter at