As people think about where to target potentially game-changing and disruptive innovations, as readers of this blog know there is a powerful case for starting the innovation at the margins where, for the would-be consumers of the offering, the alternative is nothing at all.

In the 18 months since the publication of Disrupting Class, we have learned much from traveling around and talking to the people actually out in the field doing the innovating. As a result, our knowledge of the areas of nonconsumption in the U.S. PreK-12 educational market has broadened considerably. Below is a list of these opportunities where there often is no “market” currently. Please feel free to chime in with others we have not noticed or give us your thoughts so that we can continue to learn together. The items on this list are by no means mutually exclusive or collectively exhaustive.

Homebound students
AP and other advanced courses (25 percent of high schools don’t offer an advanced course)
Drop-outs/alternative schools
Small, rural, and urban schools are disproportionately affected by resource constraints and therefore have more areas of nonconsumption within them
Scheduling conflicts create areas of nonconsumption
Unit recovery
Disaster preparedness (for H1N1 and the like)
Professional development
After school
In the home
Incarcerated youth/juvenile detention centers/juvenile justice facilities
In-school suspension
School bus commute
Summer school
Teacher absenteeism

– Michael B. Horn


  • Michael B. Horn
    Michael B. Horn

    Michael B. Horn is Co-Founder, Distinguished Fellow, and Chairman at the Christensen Institute.