Joseph Schumpeter popularized the expression "creative destruction" to describe the process whereby entrepreneurs use innovation to drive the economy forward, destroying the value of established companies along the way.
For instance, companies like IBM and Polaroid used to dominate their respective markets but have since fallen by the wayside as innovation, competition and technology changes the landscape of the market. Creative destruction also serves as a great euphemism for academics to justify the real-life carnage left in the wake of a competitive economy.
The latest victim of creative destruction (and high fuel prices) is Zoom Airlines, a low-budget carrier similar to Ryanair and EasyJet, which declared bankruptcy this afternoon. As Steve Maich so aptly puts it: "Zoom...splatt." Steve is probably right: Zoom was a crappy airline and the fact that it was unable to secure financing for its future suggests that the company got selected out of the evolutionary process for a reason.
But let me tell you, as the owner of a now-worthless seat on a Zoom flight booked for next Wednesday: this sucks. A lot. I am experiencing first hand the 'destruction' side of things and it is unpleasant. I imagine it's even more unpleasant for the firm's employees and those currently stranded in airport terminals across the globe. I suspect the 'creativity' half refers mainly to the range of obscenities being directed towards Zoom Airlines, airport staff, oil companies, and the gods.
(Fun Fact: Creative destruction was a strong contender for the title of this blog, but Rory and I decided that IPE Journal was much more exciting...)