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The Innovator's Dilemma : The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way… (1997)

by Clayton M. Christensen

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2,230265,169 (3.97)5
Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors An innovation classic. From Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, Clay Christensen's work continues to underpin today's most innovative leaders and organizations. The bestselling classic on disruptive innovation, by renowned author Clayton M. Christensen. His work is cited by the world's best-known thought leaders, from Steve Jobs to Malcolm Gladwell. In this classic bestseller--one of the most influential business books of all time--innovation expert Clayton Christensen shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right--yet still lose market leadership. Christensen explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation. No matter the industry, he says, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know how and when to abandon traditional business practices. Offering both successes and failures from leading companies as a guide, The Innovator's Dilemma gives you a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation. Sharp, cogent, and provocative--and consistently noted as one of the most valuable business ideas of all time--The Innovator's Dilemma is the book no manager, leader, or entrepreneur should be without.… (more)
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English (23)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This is pretty much part of the canon of startup books, and explains why startups, or teams structured like startups, routinely out-compete large organizations in certain kinds of new technology (while being defeated in other kinds of new technology). Christensen basically splits technological shifts into sustaining vs. disruptive innovations, largely around whether developing and implementing them will require shifts in the "value network" of a company (the customers, distributors, suppliers, etc.). He makes a data-supported case that in disruptive innovation, the very things which make organizations efficient and successful at scale work against success in innovation.

The most famous examples he uses are getting a bit dated (the shift in computer storage from disk packs down to 14, 8, 5.25, 3.5, 2.5, 1.8, and 1.3" hard drives -- i.e. the storage hardware devices used in ancient history before flash/ssd on phones and whatever-magic-space-technology is used in the cloud; various types of motorcycles, i.e. some dead dinosaur juice fueled devices used before Uber or Lime...), but everything is just as applicable today. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Some books are important when they are new and not so important twenty years later. This is one of those. With this book Clayton Christensen made the term "disruptive technology" mainstream and created a new language when discussing technological and market evolution. Now we are used to that term. iPhone was disruptive, Internet was disruptive, the web was disruptive, anything that makes parts of the market obsolete is disruptive.

But now, 20 years later, the book has been so successful that it is not really needed. It talks about things that most people that care have already learned.

Basically: Smaller organizations are better at handling small opportunities that may later be large business. Larger companies can't both handle the large business and the small opportunities.

I think he's right but it's no help when trying to find those small opportunities that will later become large businesses and that is the hard problem. If you solve that part, then sure, this book says it's best to handle it in a completely (very completely) separate organization from the "business as usual" or one or both branches will suffer badly.

The most interesting part is the historical comparisons, mostly from the retail industry and the disk drive industry. Disk drives went from 14 inch packs to 8 inch floppy disks to 5.25 inch floppy disks to 3.5 inch not so floppy disk. This is basically where the book ends though he mentions 1.8 inch disks as well. (We now know that there was no next step evolutionary step, zip disks don't count. The next step was instead a combination of CD-ROM/RW and flash disks, and network connected storage.)

One good thing with the edition I consumed is that it was short. Could maybe have been even shorter, but it's rare that (American) authors present their ideas compactly. Too hard to sell short books I think which is a bit crazy. I see that some other reviews complain that it's too repetitive so I realize my edition was a shortened version. ( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
A great book that explains why better products are often not able to beat new and somehow inferior products and why big companies cling on their old products until they have almost lost.

Notes from the book: https://berezovskyi.me/2017/04/notes-from-the-innovators-dilemma-by-clayton-m-ch... ( )
  berezovskyi | Dec 19, 2020 |
Core concept is that businesses develop a core concept or product that allows them to scale. Once they become big and bureaucratic, they often lose the perspective, flexibility and innovativeness to maintain that position.

As the entrenched player they often feel safe in their position and are out-competed by smaller up and coming enterprises.

Author suggests creating 'intrapreneurs' or doing strategic acquisitions of young up and comers to prevent from this big mistake. ( )
  shakazul | Jul 3, 2017 |
4 ( )
  ronchan | Nov 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors An innovation classic. From Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, Clay Christensen's work continues to underpin today's most innovative leaders and organizations. The bestselling classic on disruptive innovation, by renowned author Clayton M. Christensen. His work is cited by the world's best-known thought leaders, from Steve Jobs to Malcolm Gladwell. In this classic bestseller--one of the most influential business books of all time--innovation expert Clayton Christensen shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right--yet still lose market leadership. Christensen explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation. No matter the industry, he says, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know how and when to abandon traditional business practices. Offering both successes and failures from leading companies as a guide, The Innovator's Dilemma gives you a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation. Sharp, cogent, and provocative--and consistently noted as one of the most valuable business ideas of all time--The Innovator's Dilemma is the book no manager, leader, or entrepreneur should be without.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

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