Will the best and most talented translators benefit from the disruptors?

“Some will ignore the incursions of the disruptors and do nothing—this could be a fatal mistake for some.”

The translation business

One of the few things we can count on is that “things change”. When I started out as a translator we used typewriters and listened to music on cassette tapes. We got our translations typeset on photographic paper—a revolution that had just displaced the “hot metal” linotype. Typewriters, cassette tapes and phototypesetting have all gone.

So what’s next in the translation world? Can we predict the likely course of events into the future? A certain Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, seems to think so.

Clayton Christensen 2 Clayton Christensen , Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Christensen is best known for his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, where he articulates his theory of disruptive innovation.

Disruptive business models

Christensen studies how “disruptive” ideas and new technologies constantly evolve and displace the old—only to be discarded and replaced by new waves of innovation. His theories have been…

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