Disruptive businesses are cropping up everywhere these days, but investors shouldn't take a company's word as gospel just because it brands itself as innovative, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday.
"You can't understand [disruption] without looking the actual disruptors in the eye to see who's a poser and who's the real deal," the "Mad Money" host said, speaking from CNBC's 1Market studio in San Francisco.
"The truth is what happens in tech reverberates through the rest of the market and, really, the rest of the world," he said.
Take the semiconductor space. Analysts are reportedly worried that the notoriously boom-and-bust industry is showing signs of slowing, as evidenced by Micron's recent weaker-than-expected forecast and Intel's chip manufacturing issues.
The weakness among the chip stocks illustrates that "disruption also has its downsides," Cramer said, though he said he still liked the stock and argued last week that Micron's boom-and-bust cycle could be uprooted by the company's $10 billion buyback.
"Intel, the onetime king of the semiconductor industry, seems to have taken a step back in its age-old battle with AMD over the PC business," he noted. "Right now, [Intel's] manufacturing is coming up short and we're actually short of processors because of it, which is incredibly shocking to anyone who's followed this company for a long time."
"Because the whole group is interlinked by the ETFs, no prisoners are taken," Cramer said.
His big takeaway? When investors hear about disruptive companies, they should never just buy their stocks blindly.
"There's no crystal ball to tell you who wins," he said. "The bottom line is that you need to know what industries are being disrupted if you're going to invest in the stock market."