Canvas by Instructure

Disruption is Good

September 23, 2013

At Canvas by Instructure, we believe that disruption is good. And not just because it happens to be the latest industry buzzword. Disruption has been in our company DNA since Day One. After all, just because something’s always been done one way it doesn’t mean that’s the way we should keep doing it.

Think about your favorite teacher. The best teachers buck the expected, defibrillating minds and opening eyes. Classes aren’t rehearsed regurgitations of the same tired lesson plan. They step over or even leap outside of the expected. They zig where others zag. They challenge us, challenge themselves, challenge long-held dogmas about how education should happen. That–disruption–is what it takes to make a difference.

At Canvas, we’re big fans of disruption. One of our favorite quotes is by musician Frank Zappa, “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” We aim to defibrillate education, to shock the LMS world out of its sleepy, go-through-the-motions ways, with tectonic technology that shakes up the educational experience and, above all, makes teaching and learning easier.


Innovation is one of the best ways to be disruptive. Of course, anyone who’s ever tried to innovate knows you face opposition from status quo loyalists, the old guard, the incumbents, the fearful. But, even amid resistance and opposition, great innovators innovate anyway.

Computing pioneer Howard Aiken (the primary engineer behind IBM’s Harvard Mark I computer) said, “Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.” Maybe that’s one reason we’ve never worried about the potential-idea-theft side of being an open company. We know the resolve required to push a great new idea through. And it’s one of the reasons we’ve remained undaunted in our quest to disrupt the educational space.

Still, we know that innovation doesn’t matter–at all–unless it helps you do what you do. We simply want to help you do what you do, just better and easier and faster and more widely. Like we say over and over, all we want to do is make teaching and learning easier. 

Here’s to bucking expectations.
Here’s to zigging.
Here’s to disruption.