The Innovator's Dilemma : When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
Clayton M. Christensen
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A Wall Street Journal and Businessweek bestseller. Named by Fast Company as one of the most influential leadership books in its Leadership Hall of Fame. 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.
markets will be built. Questions for Discussion The characteristics of a disruptive technology are: They are simpler and cheaper and lower performing. They generally promise lower margins, not higher profits. Leading firms’ most profitable customers generally can’t use and don’t want them. They are first commercialized in emerging or insignificant markets. The Innovator’s Dilemma discusses disruptive innovations in the disk-drive, excavator, steel, and auto industries. Looking back
discontinuity, as used by Giovanni Dosi (see “Technological Paradigms and Technological Trajectories,” Research Policy  1982), Michael L. Tushman and Philip Anderson (see “Technological Discontinuities and Organizational Environments,” Administrative Science Quarterly , 1986), and others. The innovations in head and disk technology described in Figure 1.4 represent positive discontinuities in an established technological trajectory, while the trajectory-disrupting technologies charted in
Disk/Trend’s forecasts were available, the 14-inch Winchester and the 2.5-inch generation were sustaining innovations, which were sold into the same value networks as the preceding generation of drives. The other three, 5.25-, 3.5-, and 1.8-inch drives, were disruptive innovations that facilitated the emergence of new value networks. (Disk/Trend did not publish separate forecasts for 8-inch drives.) Figure 7.1 The Four Years after the First Commercial Shipments: Sustaining versus Disruptive
customers of PDA sales, were accurate. Had HP’s managers instead assumed that nobody knew in what volume PDAs would sell, they might have built small modules of production capacity rather than a single, high-volume line. They could then have held to capacity or added or reduced capacity as key events confirmed or disproved their assumptions. Similarly, the Kittyhawk product development plan was based on an assumption that the dominant application for the little drive was in PDAs, which demanded
vehicles are a potentially disruptive technology, my next challenge would be to define a marketing strategy that could lead my company to a legitimate, unsubsidized market in which electric cars might first be used. In formulating this marketing strategy, I would apply three findings from earlier chapters in this book. First, I would acknowledge that, by definition, electric vehicles cannot initially be used in mainstream applications because they do not satisfy the basic performance