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Bloomberg Businessweek names the top disrupters of the last 85 years

Historic disruption from TV to the jet engine... 03:46

For its 85th anniversary, Bloomberg Businessweek has compiled a list of the 85 most disruptive ideas since the magazine's first issue.

We'll spoil the surprise right now. Topping the list: the jet engine.

Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel spoke to CBS This Morning about the choice:

"When you start to think about all the 85 ideas that we constructed you really get down to, 'what ideas made the other ones possible?' The jet engine revolutionized the size of the world. We all now travel around the world in ways we couldn't before. We collaborate with people from other cultures and other places in ways we couldn't have before."

He continued, "Things couldn't be made without a globalized world."

The jet engine, he said, emerged as the clear leader.

Rounding out the top five were microchips at number two, the Green Revolution at number three, followed by Walmart ("We pay less for toothpaste, dog food, blankets, and thousands of other everyday items because of [Sam] Walton," the magazine said) and TV, which edged out Google for the fifth spot.

The choices run a wide spectrum, from junk bonds (#7), to DNA sequencing, the AK-47 and 401(k)s (#25, #26, #27), to the smartphone (#78) and the whiteboard (#82).

The birth control pill made the list at number nine, right between the Manhattan Project and Apple.

"For 50 percent of the world's population, it changed almost everything when it comes to professional life," Tyrangiel said. "The income of professional women has risen dramatically since the introduction of the Pill. Not having to worry about reproduction and not being a slave to the possibility you are going to get pregnant early allows you to manage your life in ways that you couldn't have before."

On CBS This Morning, Tyrangiel also called out a surprising entry that exemplifies how one seemingly small idea can create a novel market and change the way we live, permanently.

"In the 1950s people didn't have cats in their homes," he said. Then a visionary entrepreneur presented the idea of putting sand in a box so your cat can go to the bathroom indoors. "This is a great business story. A guy sees sand, writes kitty litter on it, all of a sudden a completely new product line is born and all of a sudden people have cats in their houses."

Disruption defined.

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