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About the Author

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is the author of eight critically acclaimed books, including the bestsellers. The Innovator's Solution, How Will You Measure Your Life?, and Disrupting Class. Christensen is the cofounder show more of Innosight, a management consultancy; Rose Park Advisors, an investment firm; and the Innosight Institute, a nonprofit think tank. show less
Image credit: Clayton M. Christensen is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on innovation and growth.

Works by Clayton M. Christensen

De succesfactor (2013) 1 copy
O Dilema da Inovação (2018) 1 copy

Associated Works

Encyclopedia of Mormonism (1992) — Contributor — 56 copies
Why I Believe (2001) — Contributor — 52 copies
Why I'm a Mormon (2012) — Contributor — 17 copies
The Internet & the University (2004) — Contributor — 8 copies


Common Knowledge



This is a well articulated classic text that describes the nature of certain technological development and how path dependence leads to setting the stage to subsequent disruption by other players. The ideas in this book have shaped the start-up business philosophy in important ways. We now take as a given that many large players will fail because of technological lock-in opening up to competition from more nimble start-ups.
But as important as this book is, reading the original calls into question the generality of the idea: not every business and technology leads to lock in exposed to subsequent disruption.… (more)
yates9 | 29 other reviews | Feb 28, 2024 |
As technological development has increasingly driven the world economy, many observe that it causes a disruptive economic effect. New technology can humble big players and lift new players to leading positions. These effects often happen despite managers doing all the “right things.”

We now have enough data to begin to analyze how technological disruptions happen across many industries. More importantly, we have data about how to manage innovation’s turbulence. In this classic text, Clayton Christensen helps us understand this phenomenon in depth and then teaches us how to milk it to our advantage and our survival.

I work in software development for biomedical research, so in my career, I have observed firsthand how creative disruptions can reorient fields and industries many times. I’ve even done it some myself. I certainly understand how managers could fear it, and reading books like Christensen’s can demystify it significantly. In fact, if someone truly wants to understand how to strategically plan for disruptive technologies, this book is essential reading. Why? It defined the approach back in the 1990s.

In typical erudite fashion, Christensen uses the stories of various industries to tell his story. He especially relies upon the disk-drive industry in early computing to define his terms. This industry had a quick pace of innovation while also having lots of market information available. Each change from large disk drives to smaller models, or from more expensive models to cheaper models, disrupted the trajectory of the entire industry. New winners and losers came out in the fallout. Such well-documented details allow for easy construction of theoretical models.

Then Christensen tests these theoretical lens on different industries that don’t have all the speedy development of modern computing. He describes disruptive technologies in the context of mechanical construction equipment, for instance. Though the turnover rate is slower here, the patterns still hold.

Finally, he suggests ways to enhance the successful development and deployment of disruptive technologies. He suggests that most larger companies continue to focus on refining existing technologies while they christen smaller companies with the task of finding emerging markets for their survival.

I innovate in academic environments that seek broad implementation. Administratively, we organize ourselves in small groups that takes risk to create big changes at times. So Christensen’s paradigm certainly makes sense me. It also correlates well with how actual technological change has taken place since I first started paying attention to it in the 1990s.

Because modern technology affects just about every industry today, leading managers need to pay attention to the concepts of creative disruptions and disruptive technology. Technologists like myself can also benefit from learning to speak their business colleagues’ language to enhance their work’s effect. There’s no better place to accomplish either of these tasks than from the work that first defined the concept.
… (more)
scottjpearson | 29 other reviews | Feb 4, 2024 |
A good framework to think about solutions/features/products. It will definitely add value in customer development process. But I felt the book was too long, a detailed 4000 or 4500 words article would have been sufficient. Would have been nice, if some sample customer interview questions to unravel the jobs or a starter kit was included in the book.
Santhosh_Guru | 2 other reviews | Oct 19, 2023 |
Everyone should read this book. Regardless of life stage, it's insightful. How to achieve happiness is a skill we sometimes fail to teach.
RaggedyMe | 18 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |



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