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Shortcuts to superpowers: What an emerging design pattern tells us about disruption

Emmet Connolly
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Best of breed products

  • Disruption from above 
  • Focus on capturing customers from higher up in the market

Designing best of breed products

  • Understand the audience and the competitors
  • Small companies can focus on specific niches and be more complex
  • Customer relationships are easier to manage when smaller


  • Superhuman, the Gmail alternative, focuses on email speed and efficiency
  • Unlike Gmail, offers many shortcuts and commands 

Everything old is new again

  • Don’t need to invent new design patterns
  • Innovation can be applying old concepts to a new context
  • Today’s larger markets and low barriers to entry mean best of breed products can be lucrative and niche

The wheel turns

  • Past the era of general-purpose software for the masses
  • Today’s conditions allow for old and new ideas to succeed
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