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Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation Hardcover – February 26, 2013

4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I have studied disruptive innovation for more than two decades. Here, McQuivey offers insights about disruption--and about the accelerating pace of disruption--that I truly hadn't understood before. This is a very important book about what tomorrow holds in store; it shows us both what will happen and how to address it. I recommend it enthusiastically." --Clayton Christensen, professor, Harvard Business School, and author of The Innovator's Dilemma

“As James McQuivey says, ‘Digital disruption is not only a possibility for your company’s future but the only possibility.’ Once you accept that premise, decisions that previously seemed courageous or outrageous will instead appear to be rational and inevitable. James offers a road map for business leadership in the digital age that is thoughtful, inspiring, and liberating.”—Baba Shetty, CEO, The Newsweek Daily Beast Co.

“There is a powerful change happening in the way we consume and process information. It’s a democratizing force that is drowning out the oligarchy of media who have told us what’s important and what to think. It is incumbent upon all of us to master this new method—and to take the power into our own hands. James’s book is an important step in that direction.”—Cory Booker, mayor, Newark, New Jersey, and co-founder, #waywire

“In Digital Disruption, James McQuivey persuasively demonstrates how to shift your mind-set by thinking and acting ‘disruptively’ in order to drive radical change to best meet the future needs of your consumers."—Markus Dohle, chairman and CEO, Random House

“As McQuivey vividly shows, advances in hardware and software have totally changed the way we do business and the way we live. This valuable book helps business leaders join this accelerating revolution and transform their relationship with customers.”—Kevin Rollins, former CEO, Dell, Inc.

“Technology disruption used to affect other people, not you. No longer. This is a frightening and useful manifesto about how the rapid changes in technology are going to overturn every corner of the world as we know it—and how you can take advantage of that.”—Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception

“Many Fortune 500 companies that existed three decades ago are now gone. If your company is to survive the next decade, read this book ASAP to learn how to innovate faster, better, and cheaper—or else, you will succumb to digital disruption.”—Navi Radjou, coauthor of Jugaad Innovation and From Smart To Wise

"In his new book, James makes a compelling argument to think beyond change for change's sake and instead focus on giving customers what they truly want. This book is a must-read for anybody who wants to succeed in the next era of consumer technology."—Jim Lanzone, President, CBS Interactive

“James McQuivey issues a provocative mandate for business—disrupt yourself or be victimized by legions of innovators with widespread access to low-cost digital technologies. He not only describes the digital disruptor’s handbook, he provides many examples on how disruptors create deeper, more sustaining connections with customers. The book is both smart and practical.”—Scott E. Howe, CEO and President, Acxiom

“Disrupting healthcare as an industry has become a national imperative. Forrester’s book, brilliantly analyzing the anatomy of disruption, is just what the doctor should have ordered.”—Roy Shoenberg, MD MPH, CEO/Founder, American Well

About the Author

James McQuivey is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and the leading analyst tracking the development of digital disruption. He comments regularly in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and has contributed to the websites of the Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and Forbes. He also appears frequently on news outlets like CNBC and NPR. McQuivey lives in Needham, Massachusetts, with his wife and the four youngest of their six disruptors.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 171 pages
  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing; Unabridged edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477800123
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477800126
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Digital Disruption provides a solid discussion of the attitudes, tools and strategies involved in creating disruptive opportunities for yourself and your organization. James McQuivey does a good job discussing the changing context created by a digital environment where free tools and open access to markets eliminates traditional barriers to entry and advantage. Digital Disruptor is recommended reading for those looking to upgrade their management practices and approaches by re-energizing their innovation tools and techniques.

McQuivey's central premise is that if people plus infrastructure equal disruption, then digital innovators plus digital infrastructure equals digital disruption. The rest of the book focuses on what these digital disrupters are, the tools they use and how you can become a digital disrupter. This is more of an innovation book than one based on applying digital technology to business.

McQuivey uses a number of individual and company examples to illustrate what it means to be disruptive from FerroKin, Disney, FitNow among others. McQuivey uses these observations to illustrate the concepts of digital disruption across three sections:

Part 1: What is digital disruption?
Part 2: Adopt a digital disruptor's mindset?
Part 3: Behave like a digital disruptor?
Part 4: Disrupt yourself now.

The book focuses on management and business tools to answer these questions. Overall these techniques re-iterate and update customer focused tools and techniques.

Digital disruption is the ability to create value by meeting customer needs at a lower cost, with faster development times and a greater impact on the customer experience than anything that came before.
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This was a very interesting book about a very important topic. The reason for the two stars is that beyond the topic or bringing up the subject, it has little substance. It shouts about digital disruption, mostly for business applications, and then reminds the reader to be the disruptor not the disrupted. Then does it again and again....and again, without providing a template or a plan how to exploit the digital disruption that is coming soon. The book does not live up to its promise. I would recommend it to anyone who is just starting to think about digital disruption, but it is certainly not for anyone who is familiar with the topic. Over all it is worthy of 2 stars out of 5.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
According to the author, who works for Forrester Research, many companies' attempts at "innovation" fail because they tend to either play it too safe with inconsequential and incremental product changes, or take ill-conceived big leaps into initiatives that are too "pie-in-the-sky-ish." A better approach is what the author calls "innovating adjacent possibilities," which entails understanding your customers' needs, identifying products or services that can address real customer needs in new ways, then strategizing on how to best productize those ideas in a cost effective manner.

While I think the proposed approach can be used by any company to generate ideas, the author is most excited and passionate about businesses using it to build digital bridges to consumers who, with each passing generation, will increasingly be leading more and more digitally-centric lives, and, therefore, be predisposed to looking for values in the digital world. According to the author, with the availability of so many digital tools and infrastructures that can now be harnessed for the creation of such values at minimal or very reasonable costs, businesses that fail to seize disruptive opportunities in the digital world will quickly become irrelevant.

The advice given in this book on how to seize digitally disruptive business opportunities is at a very high level and will likely only help you get started in the right direction. What "adjacent possibilities" really mean and how they can be differentiated from the merely "incremental innovation opportunities" require more definition, discussion, and/or illustrative examples. That innovation initiatives cannot succeed without top-down support is mentioned, but I feel not further addressed adequately. Finally, although execution is important, there is not a whole lot of discussion about pitfalls and mistakes to avoid beyond the repeated emphasis on the importance of having "the right mindset."
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Digital Disruption uncovers the main obstacles to surfing the non-stop waves of disruption for any company and provides a framework for how to overcome those obstacles.

Instead of asking "How can we make a new product that we can successfully sell?" the disruptor asks: How can we give people something they really want - where that "something" is a broader view of the offering that includes value elements and "experiences" beyond the product itself, limited only by the "adjacent possible" rather than by any company's too-limiting self-concept of what it does and doesn't do.

"To become a digital disruptor [and, as the book notes, that's where all companies should be headed], you have to be obsessed with finding more ways to meet more consumer needs more quickly than before."

And that's done by leveraging the "four fundamental human needs": Comfort, Connection, Variety, and Uniqueness.

Then go outside-in and ask what's the NEXT thing your consumer needs? The consumer is at the center of what becomes more than a product - it's a product experience.

Lots of thoughtful ideas are in this book, and the mindset is immensely valuable to any business that thinks in products or services rather than the consumers who use them, the experiences which will capture their attention and engagement, and the things they are likely to want next - no matter whether or not it's what you think you're making today.

Highly recommended!
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