The Innovator’s Dilemma

THE INNOVATOR’S DILEMMA: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

By Clayton Christensen

Why do good, successful companies that do all the “right” things still fail or lose their market leadership in face of unexpected competition? The book answers this question, and shows how the same (good) practices that lead to a business’ success can eventually lead to its demise – this is the innovator’s dilemma. The book proposes a set of rules that CEOs, entrepreneurs and managers can apply to solve this dilemma.

In this summary, you’ll learn:
• How disruptive technologies can render your business irrelevant, and how you can identify them;
• How sound management principles also create blind spots that lead to your demise;
• Strategies and moves to deal with pertinent issues of resource allocation, investment, research, and capability development, when faced with competition from disruptive technologies; and
• How you can proactively develop disruptive technologies of your own to shape your industry.

Who should read this:
• Business leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, and professionals involved in product development or innovation;
• Researchers, consultants, and anyone interested in business strategy or disruptive technology.

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3 reviews for The Innovator’s Dilemma

  1. 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 market, leaving the established players high and dry, with no new product lines. (In a way he is reposing the falling rate of profit thesis.) He suggests some rather less convincing solutions in the book, and expounded further in The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth. I would argue that Apple presents an interesting solution to this challenge, with its creation of new product lines that complement and build on – but, largely, don’t cannibalise – its existing product lines. [Review from Goodreads]

  2. 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 publication in 1995 of an article by Clayton Christensen in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Disruptive technologies: catching the wave” that the term entered the language. That seminal article was followed in 1997 by Christensen’s pathfinding book, The Innovator’s Dilemma – one of the most influential business books of all time.

    A decade and a half ago this was a shattering insight and it explains the acclaim that Christensen’s work has received throughout the world of business. However, if you turn to his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, in search of deeper understanding of these concepts, you may be disappointed. [Review from Goodreads]

  3. 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. [Review from Goodreads]

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