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The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
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The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,946 ratings  ·  100 reviews
A seminal work by bestselling author Clayton M. Christensen.

In his international bestseller The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen exposed this crushing paradox behind the failure of many industry leaders: by placing too much focus on pleasing their most profitable customers, these firms actually paved the way for their own demise by ignoring the disruptive techno
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published 2003)
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Michael Burnam-fink
Where The Innovator's Dilemma was about theory, this is about implementation-a recipe for managers looking to lead successful companies. Christensen admirably tackles the complex problem of guiding a company though times of disruption. There's a lot here, but the essence is that if you want to succeed, start with an idea that is somewhat profitable and go after customers who are under-served, either because no product exists that fits their needs, or they're the least profitable segment of an es ...more
Glenn recommended this to me over dinner before Christmas as the $20 version of one of his favorite classes/professors at HBS. Imagine my delight when I discovered it was available on the Kindle (after getting a Kindle for Christmas this year one of the hardest things initially was deciding what to read on it, since I have a stack of physical books I want to read and I didn't want to repurchase any of those). The book is all about the business of innovation, and is rife with historical examples ...more
It took me a while, but worth finally persevering to the end. This isn't your typical business book, with a few nice aphorisms and over and done with in a couple of hours. No, this is a tightly argued guide to repeated disruptive innovation. And its not easy, in fact, Christensen even admits that he knows of only a handful of businesses that have achieved it, and a large part of their success came from the influence of their founders. The suggestions he makes does, however, suggest an explanatio ...more
Diego Petrucci
"Disruption" is one of the most misunderstood terms — it implies not only a technological advancement, but a specific kind of innovation that — while un-interesting at first— is poised to become a real breakthrough.

There are two types of disruptive innovation: ones is low-end disruption (i.e. something that costs less than the main thing and performs worse for a while, until it gets better but still costs less), the other is new-market disruption (i.e. a product whose main consumer is someone th
I finially finished working my way through this excellent book. I think the Solution is actually better than the Problem - but is not a substitute.

It has excellent lessons, with the usual case studies that is standard Christenson fare. I believe these to be important regardless of your particular situation - may you be a worker bee in a big organization, an entrepreneur trying to figure out how to break into a market or a big company exec trying to figure out how to not get eaten by the dozens o
A truly thought-provoking business book about how to make innovation work in all companies. However brilliant the content, it is written in a very formal style, and is hard to read.

Details: Back by excellent research and detailed analysis this book explains how some companies succeed with innovation and why some fail. Using case studies the authors delve into what makes companies successfully innovate and comes up with some surprising rules around organizational structure.

However, this is writte
Peter Choi
Picked up this book off-hand out of curiosity, but couldn't put it down. Many of the books in this genre are full of fluff, but this one is filled with theory and insight. This evening, I was reading an article on Google moving into the netbook arena next year with its mobile-based Android operating system. Steve Ballmer has repeatedly dismissed the idea of Android/Chrome being any threat to Microsoft Office, but Google is doing exactly what this book warns, positioning itself in a seemingly non ...more
One of the best business books I have ever read. I read this during undergrad study in Business. I could almost feel the light bulb coming on in my head! Told using easy-to-understand language, it is a must read for those who wish to understand how to compete in today's business environment.
Timothy Chklovski
Simply terrific.
What would one want in a book like this?
A collection of theories that help make sense of which businesses are likely to face headwinds and tailwinds, grounded in extensive research.
As icing on the intellectual cake, the style of presentation hits the troika of being clear, thorough while still entertaining. In youth, Clayton Christensen aspired to be a Wall Street Journal editor, and the style attests that he took this aspiration seriously.
Each chapter provides a way of looking a
Greg Danklef
This was an interesting read. The ideas seem to be really solid. There has been a lot of talk recently about the ideas around disruption so it was good to hear the theory from the source. I believe it to be solid. This is written to try and help managers understand what to do to keep from becoming disrupted - how to create that culture. The author himself says that it is pretty audacious in that it is recommending something that no company has been able to achieve. That said, it has some really ...more
Niniane Wang
One of the top 5 business books I've read. Explained a lot of things I noticed about creating and growing software products!
a very interesting business book about disruption and innovation, including what established firms can do to remain leaders
Roger K.
This book will reshape your thinking on what makes organizations successful. Many of the themes are now "common sense" in some circles. Christiansen has introduced or popularized outcomes-based thinking, value networks, and the split between sustaining and disruptive innovations, just to name a few.

The text is fairly straightforward. The examples used are thought-provoking. In particular, the example of how the steel industry was transformed as waves of disruptive innovation moved upmarket illus
A lot of good interesting ideas and well founded research. Just a bit over my head
Sundarraj Kaushik
A wonderful follow up book to Innovator's Dilemma from Mr. Christensen. In this book Mr. Christensen gives the entrepreneurs different aspects to be considered when coming up with an innovative solution. He points out how traditional way of working may not be the most suitable and in fact in many situations harmful for developments of innovative disruptive solutions.

The key take away from the books is
1. Start innovating early. Do not wait for the company to reach a stage where it becomes imperat
Mike Baird
Ok. I enjoyed some of the stories and ideas, but in couldn't help. But feel like the "consultants" were sharing their naive answers from out of the trenches. It also hurt that I read this ten years after publish where so many of the "model" companies they highlighted have done horribly since... Proving my point that often they highlight things in the the popular wave at the time, but those companies also have severe underlying issues as well that just aren't as visible yet.

But a good read and so
Atif Ali
I have had Clayton Christensen's , The Innovators Dilemma on the to-read list for more than 6 months now . However just by luck found an opportunity to read Innovators Solution , which actually builds on the former book .

The book provides deep discussion on why some companies are dethroned by new entrants and and why it is so difficult to sustain market leadership and continue growth .

For any one involved in a new business or product development this book provides with thoroughly researched re
A very intelligent and approachable book. Even though it was perhaps written more for middle-managers and senior level executives with decision-making power, I felt like I learned something in every chapter, and it has helped me better understand the company and managers I work for. Discussion on theory is backed up by engaging real-life case studies. All-in-all, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in being more innovative or disruptive in business.

It took me forever to finish this
Andrew K.
This is one of those books that people in the business world refer to so often that you feel like you know already what it's about -- the structural obstacles that established companies face in being able to deal with discontinuous innovation. Even so, it was worth reading. There is a lot of nuance I didn't realize. The author is very pragmatic about how companies actually work, and how managers are incentivized to succeed through established processes -- the very ones that will choke any new id ...more
Oct 29, 2008 Heidi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: someone who was looking to approach a product, IT, etc a different way
Clay spoke to a large assembled crowd at a Netezza conference held locally in MA. Fast forward to the future... At Oracle Openworld 2008 he was referenced by another well known lecturing body associated with the Gartner Group.
Clay's presentation was an interesting lecture back in 2006/2007. It reminded me of "Freakonomics" which is about looking at the ideas that we assume are based on fact. Such as that guns are more violent than a pool and how we shore up our thinking with our ideas.
Chad Kohalyk
Feb 18, 2012 Chad Kohalyk rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Horace Dediu
Shelves: audio, working
Originally posted at:

I drink your milkshake

Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor’s The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth was recommended by Horace Dediu on his show The Critical Path. On the show Horace often talks about “Jobs to be Done Theory”, or the idea that customers hire a product to do specific job. It is a very useful way of thinking about products and is fleshed out more in this book. Some other particularly intere
Jul 16, 2012 John added it
So far:

The premise that no existing theory explains why some companies thrive on innovation, whereas others fail, even when they have innovative ideas, is sound. This book attempts a new theory founded on the notion that "innovation management" of a particular kind is required to successfully innovate.

No problem there, I suppose.

But, I have, I guess, some questions or reasons why even this theory does not hold, or cannot be successfully applied in some cases I know about:

i) Management culture
Josh Patrick
The first half of this book was very slow. Then, I started to get it. The authors premise is what I've seen as being true in my business life. There is a way to get disruptive businesses started that work. Venture capital is not the way. Venture capital doesn't have the patience to build a business that has a solid base. They want fast growth and they want to get out quickly with huge returns. This happens very rarely.

A better way to build a business is as the authors say being impatient for pro
Edwin B
Because I never entered the corporate world, for which I had actually prepared in college, I've belatedly been curious about the theory and practice of business. So I read books like this one, a Harvard Business School sequel to the bestseller, The Innovator's Dilemma. In the fast paced competition to sell products whose life-cycles are becoming shorter and shorter, what's a big corporation to do? How do those latest dizzying array of innovations, such as the smart phones, net books, twitters, h ...more
Want to build an organization that continues to innovate? One of the most exciting concepts that I've learned this year is the "innovation engine" - and the role that good leader can bring to transforming an organization, beyond routine processes, into a workplace that dares to be bold. Another big concept that I take with me is "be impatient for profits, be patient for growth." I recommend this book.
Dave Emmett
Excellent business book. I was initially introduced to the Jobs To Be Done theory before reading this book, but the insights in this extend far beyond that. Of everything in the book, my favourite quote ispatience for growth, impatience for profits. Working in the tech industry, this perspective is incredibly rare (wtf is profit?), but it's so critical.
Craig Dykstra
Definitely a great read, but I read this in the wrong order. I need to go back and read the Innovator's Dilemma because it is more applicable to my professional career than this book was.

That being said, this book gave me some great considerations included the idea of being impatient for profits, not growth. I will have to revisit this one later down the road, but if you're looking to grow an already established company with new investments and ideas, this is the book to help you do it.
Jeff Yoak
While the instant business classic The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business presents a theory, this book aims to help you think about disruptive and sustaining technologies and apply the theory to actual professional situations. I found extremely useful and thought-provoking, not only for potential projects and situations, but also for the odd mix of startup and established company traits in my own work and in integration approach being taken by th ...more
Terrence Chan
About 40% through, so far it is struggling to hold my attention. It keeps it just often enough with an insight or a perspective that I haven't considered, but for the most part, finding it a bit repetitive and dry.
Clayton Christensen is one of my personal heroes.

Innovation has become a buzzword, but people who innovate will always create their own place at the table. Christensen delves deeper into what makes innovation work.
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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...
The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business How Will You Measure Your Life? 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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