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The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  11,345 ratings  ·  194 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 January 1st 2003)
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Sundarraj Kaushik
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, innovation
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
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I’ve come to appreciate this book more and more over the years. Great insights for thinking through strategy. I still think we use the word “disruption” too much and it’s good going back and reminding myself of its original meaning.
Yevgeniy Brikman
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A few nuggets wrapped in so much business-speak that it's genuinely hard to read. There's only so many times I can hear terms like "enhancing shareholder value," "new-market disruptive growth businesses," and "earn attractive returns on lower gross margins" before my eyes glaze over. I found myself tuning in and out, and would suddenly realize that I remembered nothing from the last 20 minutes of reading.

Also, like so many business books, it's not clear if this book gives you tools that are pre
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
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
Peter Choi
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Michael Cestas
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Solved a dilemma I had.
Petar Ivanov
Really amazing book, full of a lot of management, strategy, leadership, and business insights backed with a great amount of case studies and research from the authors. It presents a new and clear way of creating disruptive innovations and also how to make them sustainable.
All mentioned points and guidelines could be put immediately into practice and that makes the book very practical and helpful. The main aspects that intrigued me the most are finding the jobs-to-be-done of the customers, compe
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Painfully insightful. One would do well to keep a little Christensen angel on their shoulder.

Worthy of re-reads.
MacKenzie Michelle
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Initially, I read this book out of boredom, but it was 99% worth it. Not only did I gather more intell on what it takes to run a successful business but I also learned how to create success universally apart from business. Also, the lessons taught are ones that use examples and real people to motivate and inspire, which I took appreciation towards on a personal level.
Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is not an easy book, I wont lie.
And doing it in Audio format probably made it even harder.

It is written in a very formal style. And although he tries to summarise key points and keep referring back to them, there is just so much information/theory/examples in this book.

You need to be in the type of position in a company where you get exposed to these high level sales/ideas/innovation decisions for this book to probably make any sense.

It really does clarify a lot about why certain things work,
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Abhishek Shekhar
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
The book is just continuation of The Innovator's Dilemma. Like an update on the previous book with changes in industry. And how the theory proposed in Innovator's dilemma should be used by managers to progress the growth path for their organization. Practically things are so dynamic that theory and reality are very different. Book is a good advisor to managers but i still don't see its that useful other than to be used as a good reads for B-schools.
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a very interesting business book about disruption and innovation, including what established firms can do to remain leaders
A lot of good interesting ideas and well founded research. Just a bit over my head
Niniane Wang
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the top 5 business books I've read. Explained a lot of things I noticed about creating and growing software products!
Catherine Muller
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Examples were a bit outdated. Enjoyed the part describing how Blackberry / RIM was on the right track and camera phones were unlikely to take off.
Roo Phillips
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Innovator's Solution (2003) is Christensen's follow up to his landmark book, the Innovator's Dilemma (1997), which presented to the masses his (now) classic theory of disruptive innovation. In Solution, Christensen gives a good overview of what the dilemma actually is, so it didn't seem necessary to have read Dilemma to understand Solution.

Overall, I thought this book was great. It is dense enough to really build the theory properly and give you pragmatic information to go and try in your o
Jayakrishnan S
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Though not amongst the most popular of Clayton Christensen's classics, The Innovator's Solution could certainly be rated over its parent-work - The Innovator's Dilemma - for two reasons: first, it offers an actionable sequence of steps for senior management grappling with disruptive innovation; second, it details all the key concepts and examples laid out in the original work, obviating the need for reading it. For any business to create a new growth opportunity, there exists three distinct rout ...more
Anthony Avedissian
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reading The Innovator’s Dilemma, I found myself once again sceptical of reading an out-dated book. But I’m very grateful I did - The Innovator’s Solution is an essential follow-up and, in my opinion, better than its predecessor!

In this book, Professor Christensen summarises the theories of The Innovator’s Dilemma and provides executives and managers with a practical, “how-to” guide for managers to grow new businesses and disrupt incumbent competitors. The book is noticeably less old-schoo
Rahul Amarasinghe
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Far more detailed than Seeing What's Next; the book didn't really go into non-market factors and he only briefly examined companies/industries. Although a lot of examples were mentioned before and more thoroughly examined in his other books, the examples were more to convey how to apply the principles put forth throughout this book.

For anyone attempting to launch a new venture or expand their current business this book provides ample tools to do so. The sections on asymmetric motivation, interfa
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book on the theory and application of disruptive processes that can lead to phenomenal growth. A must read for any company's executives faced with the dilemma of why their product line went from exceptional growth to lagging margins due to a variety of reasons. What I liked especially about this book, if you can get past the theory, is the practical examples of well-known companies, some who understood and applied the solutions in this book and some who did not. Disruptive procedure ...more
Andre Kubota
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jobs to be done theory. "People dont want a quarter inch drill, they want a quater inch hole". Milk shake case. Segmentin by traditional metrics might reduce adressable market, blinds you to emerging competitors and causes improvements to your product that are irrelevant to customers.

Concepts of low end (making products that are good enough to meet needs of currently overserved customers using a sustaining lowe cost business model) and new market disruption (making products that target customers
Andrew Spencer
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting and well written book. Most business books feel like the introduction gives an interesting concept and the rest of the book repeats it in different ways. This book didn't feel like that. There was some repetition throughout the book, but primarily it felt like the framework was being applied to new and important problems in each section.

The book also didn't have the level of arrogance many business books written by consultants or academics have. The authors are convinced by the
Dominic Heng
The sequel to Innovator's Dilemma.

While Innovator's Dilemma spoke to us on why should we innovate, innovator's solution taught us how to.

These are timeless advice since technology changes will always happen - From Railway to Electricity to Microprocessing to internet which allows building of new business models, but require breaking down the existing models - This is why companies are unable to do it, because management's job is to prioritize the existing customers.

If you ask my customers wha
Jason Carter
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Christensen's "The Innovator's Dilemma" is one of the standard texts on why successful companies are so often incapable of managing disruption in their respective industries. This second book tells *how* companies can approach disruption in the market.

Full of practical advice and well-researched data support, this is a must-read for heads of companies that need to be constantly growing and adapting.
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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.


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“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” 8 likes
“Competitiveness is far more about doing what customers value than doing what you think you’re good at. And” 3 likes
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