Ilia's Reviews > The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
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Jan 03, 14


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 do this. There's no way to identify the technology as such except if you try your best to do this and succeed and fail.

Conclusion: as a large company, you must create tiny spin-off startup-like departments to chase down wild ideas, and they must be allowed to fail w/o major repercussions to their careers.


--Highlights from the book below--

What is disruptive technology?
"innovations that result in worse product performance, at least in the near-term"
"disruptive technologies underperform established products in mainstream markets. But they have other features that a few fringe (and generally new) customers value"


Why do companies fail?
"Established companies that investing aggressively in disruptive technologies is not a rational financial decision for them to make"
The thing to watch out for is when the basis of competition shifts to a different metric: features -> performance -> stability/convenience -> price
A large company is entrenched with its biggest customers and the things that are important. It is hard as a company to go from caring about, say, deep rich feature set to having a sloppy feature-poor product that's a lot more convenient, for example.
"Performance oversupply is an important factor driving the transition from one phase of the cycle to the next"
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