Foreign Policy Magazine

The “C” Word

Forget disruption—convergence is what really has corporations fearing for their lives.

These days, the trendy word “disruption” casts fear into many business leaders’ hearts. As the Internet has reordered commerce with startling speed, mighty companies have found themselves upstaged by tech newcomers, from Spotify to Amazon to Uber, which see a fresh way to meet an old demand. As this revolution gathers pace, however, there is a second word that deserves more attention than it currently gets: “convergence.”

The “c” word is generally understood in geographical terms—the Internet links disparate parts of the world, and so economies are drawn closer together. But there is a second, equally important meaning: the collapsing together of product categories and business

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