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The Innovator's Dilemm...
Clayton M. Christensen
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The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  16,166 ratings  ·  457 reviews
In The Innovator's Dilemma, author Clayton M Christensen shows what the Honda Supercub, Intel's 8088 processor, and hydraulic excavators have in common. They are all examples of disruptive technologies that helped to redefine the competitive landscape of their respective markets. These products did not come about as the result of successful companies carrying out sound bus ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by McGraw-Hill (first published 1997)
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Mal Warwick
Chances are, you’re reading this review on an example of disruptive technology. An iPhone or other smartphone. An iPad or a notebook computer. Or simply a laptop. Every one of these devices turned its industry upside down when it was introduced, driving established companies to the brink of insolvency, or even into oblivion, and paving the way for new actors to enter the landscape.

Today, almost instinctively, we understand the concept of disruptive technology. But it wasn’t until after the publi
Rod Dunsmore
This is a great book on innovation and how start-up and entrepreneurs ought to fashion their company to go against entrenched incumbents.

The gist of the book is an interesting trend the author found when analyzing the industry. He found that certain innovations were "disruptive" -- meaning they changed the way a market worked, and some were "sustaining" -- meaning they were really just improvements on existing products.

The author traces disruptive innovations through the steel industry, where it
Nico Macdonald
This is one of the best books on innovation in the last 20 years. I read it in 2000 and still refer to it. Christensen's core insight/argument is that businesses fight shy of developing innovations that will 1: produce limit profits initially; 2: cannibalise core, high cashflow/profit lines. But that what look like niche technologies - Winchester drives, hydraulic backhoes, etc - improve in capability, reliability and reduce in price to the point that they entirely cannibalise the existing marke ...more
Nelson Zagalo
A good book, but a bit disappointing because totally centred upon business managing. I would like to see the discussion occurring at a lower level, the creative moment, before management decisions. Leave here the five principles stated by Clayton in the book. I generally agree with all of them, being the fifth one the most subjective.

"Principle #1: Companies Depend on Customers and Investors for Resources

Principle #2: Small Markets Don’t Solve the Growth Needs of Large Companies

Principle #3: Mar
Jeff Yoak
This is one of those books that becomes an instant classic. Everyone talks about it until you think you know most of what it has to say without reading it shortly after it comes out. You can barely carry on a conversation about technology without someone using the term "disruptive." It deserves that reception and as with most cases, there is much more to gain by reading the book than just the popular representation.

The book defined disruptive technologies vs. sustaining technologies and addresse
Chris Johnson
So, the information, the ideas would make this a five star book. It's a way of thinking that helps ward off obsolescence, a way of thinking that gets people to understand where future disruption may come from. The whole idea: that good management (like, truely good) eventually leads to poor decisions is fascinating.

The example: If current customers demand "faster horsers" companies rightly put their energy into faster horses. What the customer says and wants isn't necessarily what's good for the
Bonnie Atkinson
Well, this is a mixed bag, this interesting little book. The observations are prescient but the presentation is abominable. I'm sure for those who demand an exhaustive regurgitation of every step in an analysis, it is useful, but I felt that most of the book could have been the research appendices. On the other hand, the conclusions drawn were incisive and incredibly useful. It would have worked well if it had been presented as a research paper with a 10-page abstract. As a practitioner, I could ...more
Calsee Robb
This book was on my list of "Books I should read" for a long time. Maybe this is why it was so disappointing, or maybe I've just read too many modern case studies of business models to find this engaging. It was interesting to read about the origins of many terms that I take for granted (i.e. disruptive technology), but I couldn't really relate any of the examples or theory beyond anything that's already been mentioned by other more recent authors. And its hard for a 20-something to relate to th ...more
I don't read many books, but for some reason this one was a bit of a let down especially after all the fascinating reviews. For me it read like a textbook written by an engineer. With so much business/industry vernacular as interesting and ground breaking the content may be, it was boring and a struggle to read.

I'll try again another time, maybe when I'm in a more analytical mood.
This is one of those books that so many people mention/name drop that I just had to read it to see what it was all about. (Next on the list: Game of Thrones). It was well worth the read.

In the Innovator's Dilemma, Christensen argues that in some cases the reason why good, solid companies fail to stay ahead of the competition is not because they are incompetent, but because their structures/ processes/ incentives are all geared towards managing "sustaining technological change", as opposed to "di
Oksana Hoshva
It’s been over a year since I got really passionate about learning more about the disruptive innovation after dealing with it on daily basis as a consumer or just simply as a human being. I bought a book ages ago and it was waiting in a line for quite a while. I prefer articles to books I must admit, but felt like I really need to read the book said to be the mandatory theoretical background for entrepreneurs in all domains.

It was a hard and a dry read for me I must confess. First, due to acade
Kumar Ishan
Traditional thinking that good decision making, right management skills and listening to customer has led many firms to failure, at the onset of disruptive innovation.

The book with its many examples across industries, presents what is innovator's dilemma and why they fail. It explains why the very nature of disruptive innovation and its proclivity to succeed in emerging market (only), cripples large firm even with their immense resources and expertise.

The book also provides the solution, based o
Notes from Clayton Christenson, The Innovator’s Dilemma

It pays to be a leader in a disruptive innovation
• Leadership in sustaining innovations gives little advantage
• Leadership in disruptive innovation creates enormous value

But established companies typically fail in the face of disruptive change
• Companies get organized to satisfy current customer’s needs and to facilitate design and production of current products. This organization can then prevent the organization most conducive to developin
In my opinion mandatory theoretical background for entrepreneurs in all domains. Professor Christensen proposes a catchy theory (backed by solid evidence) that innovation in existing companies is not enough when pursued only to get greater sells/better margins. He says that there is a second type of innovation that, if left unnoticed by big companies, can lead them to failure. This second type of innovation also creates market place for smaller companies for which smaller profits are good enough ...more
Ben Haley
Good argument, highly redundant.

The central argument is that companies miss important new markets because they are structured to serve the needs of their most profitable customers where new 'disruptive' technologies often emerge from smaller markets who's customers needs are quite different. Eventually the smaller market catches up to the demands of the profitable customers and by that time has developed an insurmountable lead in the utility that its original customers demanded.

The prime example
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ahmed Korayem
This book is disruptive for my own perception about business books !!! The concept of disruptive technologies is thoroughly explained with a lot of proofs, the root cause of the phenomenon is accurately identified with very insightful guidelines on how to overcome the disruptive technology challenge.

The book addresses managers in large corporations that are used to excel in managing their organization for high profitability and market leadership to tell them that what you used to do very well is
Biggest question is - how do you figure out something is a "disruptive" technology, not just a fringe/inefficient one. Only somewhat answered by the book - a lot of gut feel goes into that one I guess.

In a way, a tech is disruptive if after building a startup or division around it, you can find a segment of the market that's growing at a fast enough rate to fuel more innovation in this technology, until the new market starts to get big enough to rival the original market. Or if your competitors
Sandeep Bhasin
The book is built only on one example which, if you are not a tech freak, will find it quite off-the-mark. I would have loved the book if the author had used practicality of theories on different industries. You can easily avoid this book as I feel the book does not substantiate what it promises.
Reuben Rail
"We are all facing the dilemma of succeeding in business and being aware of disruptive innovation in one form or another.

This is a powerful book with a paradoxical premise: that the very nature of success sows the seeds of destruction.

Christensen leads with some great case studies of how 'the mighty have fallen'; not because they were doing anything wrong, but specifically because they were doing things 'right'. They were using the best management and business practices, and they still fell pr
Дмитро Булах
... and in the end you will get an extremely strong model to explain the modern world of corporation, products and markets. Like never before.
Pretty dry, but much more substantial than other innovation books I've read. Could have been about a third as long, but that said: the entire content of "The Lean Startup" is just one of the chapters, in context, of this book. The central notion here is that efficiency and planning are only possible in businesses that improve on the same metric many predecessors have; those that change the metric of success, or problem solved by the business, have no history to inform their future. The latter ty ...more
Craig Dube
Dull book with no real useful insights or examples. For all of the author's talk of disruptive change, there is little explanation of what type of change is really disruptive, and what this means to the companies and industries affected. The entire book can be summed up with the author's assertion that to really address new markets and opportunities, you needs small, separate business units or companies to lead the charge. Unfortunately the author provides little real world examples that clearly ...more
André Bueno
Disruptive technologies or innovations upset the existing “order of things”. The process appeals to customers who are not served by the current market. With time, because the capacity/performance of the innovation exceeds the market’s needs, the innovation comes to displace the market leaders.

Market leaders generally don’t react until it’s too late, because they don’t represent an interesting market, being low end and often low cost. One successful strategy might be to hive off a separ
John Weis
Clayton Christensen's seminal work on disruptive technology forces firms to rethink how those technologies effect their future. He demonstrates how disruptive technologies, by not appealing to a current market segment, often create an entirely new market which eventually redefines and captures the original market served by the former technology.

He shows how companies that came to power with a disruptive advantage become, surprisingly, disrupted themselves. In the first section, he demonstrates h
Greg Stoll
This was a very engrossing book. I've started taking these business sorts of book with a grain of salt, but the book presents an interesting way of thinking that I'm pretty sure is right some of the time.

The basic idea is: established companies are great at coming up with "sustaining" innovations, which are innovations that improve on their existing technology. They are terrible at investing in "disruptive" innovations, which produce products that are worse than their existing products in ways t
Clayton Christensen 'Innovator's Dilemma' is a great book because it is both insightful & brilliant, but also incredibly simple at heart - companies are not well-provisioned to deal with disruptive innovation, precisely because it goes against 'good' management: Disruptive technologies are worse in many characteristic valued by existing value network and customers at the beginning, and usually exhibit lower profit margins, and as such not interesting to companies, or even able to be gather s ...more
Vladimir Prus
Using data from various industries, this book discusses dilemma between sustaining and disruptive innovation.

Most technological companies drift up-market, improving technology for increasingly high-margin customers. This is sustaining innovation. It can be hard, but if you continue to serve the same market, return on investment is predictable. Sustaining innovation creates vacuum at the low end, and entrants fill it with new technologies, not as capable but better in other ways - simpler, more r
The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen lays out a framework for how to tackle new products or markets in existing companies. This book is most relevant to managers in midsize or larger companies, who are going after a new market that likely require new product development. I have had several cases when I have had to decide if a new initiative is best to be done inside the existing workings of the core company (including its process, procedures and culture) or to try to shelter it in a ...more
Why great companies stumble and why the best managers fail when faced with disruptive technology? Disruptive innovators enter new markets unknown both for the customers and suppliers, by doing so they undertake a great risk of failure, however in case if they succeed the reward is great. Big : companies prefer to sustain their existing technology, having no wish to go downward, that's why smaller companies are usually the ones who enter and capture the emerging market. However, if big companies ...more
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FULL Creative Lib...: The Innovator's Dilemma 1 2 Mar 05, 2014 02:38PM  
  • The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Startups That Win
  • Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built
  • Inside the Tornado: Strategies for Developing, Leveraging, and Surviving Hypergrowth Markets
  • The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup
  • My Years with General Motors
  • Out of the Crisis
  • Only the Paranoid Survive
  • The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
  • The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany
  • Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works
  • True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership
  • Competing for the Future
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles
  • Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist
  • Lucky or Smart?: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life
  • Toyota Production System: Beyond large-scale production
  • Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days
Clayton M. Christensen is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Technology & Operations Management and General Management faculty groups. He is best known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises. His first book, The Innovator's Dilemma, articulated his theory of disruptive technology.

More about Clayton M. Christensen...
How Will You Measure Your Life? The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth Seeing What's Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change The Power of Everyday Missionaries Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

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“Disruptive technologies typically enable new markets to emerge.” 7 likes
“The reason is that good management itself was the root cause. Managers played the game the way it was supposed to be played. The very decision-making and resource-allocation processes that are key to the success of established companies are the very processes that reject disruptive technologies: listening carefully to customers; tracking competitors’ actions carefully; and investing resources to design and build higher-performance, higher-quality products that will yield greater profit. These are the reasons why great firms stumbled or failed when confronted with disruptive technological change.” 4 likes
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