There’s no success like failure

The Disruptor Disrupted? 
Hackathon Students Create Virtual Clayton Christensen

Students at a New York Hackathon have created a new application that threatens to overturn the world of punditry. Following an all-night hacking session, they were able to apply a deep understanding of Machine Learning acquired via Udacity, EdX, and Coursera MOOCs to create software that closely mimics the mental activity of Clayton Christensen.

Leading Through Adversity: Clayton ChristensenTheir software was in response to the prompt, “solve a real-world problem with software, tonight.” One of the participants, Crystal Bunting, had tried to recruit Christensen to speak to the graduation for her high school business academy, only to be informed that this would require $25,000 plus expenses. “Obviously, the demand for Professor Christensen greatly exceeds the supply,” she said, “and we figured that was a problem we could try to solve.” Crystal will be the Vice President of Marketing for the students’ new enterprise, Disrupti.com

Hours of software development was followed by a brief Turing Test simulation in which they compared their software with Professor Christensen via instant messaging. Nearly a third chose the software as the real Clayton Christensen, while the majority could detect no difference. “For example, participants asked how he felt about massive bankruptcies and unemployment due to disruptive change,” reported student and new CEO Sunita Masi. “The program’s response {cackling with laughter} was especially convincing.”

 “Some might claim that the real Clayton Christensen has things to offer that no software can duplicate,” said Disrupticon CFO Mark Woo. “That may be, but our software will get better faster than Professor Christensen can get cheaper. Suppose you want a keynote address – $25,000 to $50,000 for Christensen, or $25 for disrupti.com – what would you choose? It’s a classic case of an inflexible incumbent who will be incapable of responding to massive technical disruption.”

At press time, distrupti.com was in the process of closing their funding “B” round for $350,000 and were rumored to have significant seed funding from Pearson Corporation.

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