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Seeing What's Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change Hardcover – September 21, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1st edition (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591391857
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591391852
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Just as kids await the latest Harry Potter installment, so do business leaders look for Clayton M. Christensen’s next offering." -- Inc. Magazine, September 2004

About the Author

Christensen is one of the brightest stars in business right now, and is recognized as one of the world's leading experts on innovation. He is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in Technology & Operations Management and General Management Scott D. Anthony is a Partner at Innosight LLC and Erik A. Roth is a consultant in McKinsey & Company's Boston office.

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Customer Reviews

Read this book next to start seeing what's next.
Gerry Stern
This book is a key to Disruptive Innovation theory and a roadmap to be consulted in its use.
Fred Cheyunski
Rare for a business oriented book, I found it a very good and interesting read.
Peter James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Seldom do I remember a book that totally replaces the old and popular business literature quite as effectively as Seeing What's Next does in superceding The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution. If you have not read either of those books, you can skip them now and read Seeing What's Next instead. If you have already read those books, you will be delighted to see how much more practical the advice is in Seeing What's Next than in the earlier two efforts.

Before going into the details of what the book covers, I want to especially compliment Professor Christensen for overcoming in Seeing What's Next two of the three most serious weaknesses of The Innovator's Solution -- the lack of discussing business model innovation and the omission of leading technology business model innovation examples.

In Seeing What's Next, the authors take on the challenge of helping executives and managers consider the likelihood of disruptive technology changes occurring and how they should evaluate their potential responses in light of current information. The analysis looks at both the perspective of the companies that will be disrupted and displaced as well as those who are leading the disruptions.

The book is a remarkable combination of theory, process suggestions and detailed case histories to explain the suggested process. As a result, this book will be the most practical guide available for technology executives until Professor Christensen brings out the next installment of his thinking in a future book.
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119 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Opinions are divided as to whether or not it is possible to "predict industry change" but it is certainly possible to maintain a system by which to rigorously monitor developments in relevant industries, measure the nature and extent of probabilities, and then formulate appropriate contingency plans in anticipation of them. (FYI, Peter Schwartz in The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World and Kees van der Heijden in Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation also have much of substantial value to say about that process.) Together with Erik A. Roth and Scott D. Anthony, Clayton M. Christensen offers in this volume further development of core concepts previously discussed in The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution. However, there is a substantial amount of new thinking and an abundance of new material. Although I strongly recommend that the two earlier works be read first, that is not a requirement to derive full benefit from Seeing What's Next.

According to Christensen, "While the two previous books were aimed at managers [in italics] inside firms who wanted to defend again or attack with a disruption, Seeing What's Next is written for those who watch industries from the [in italics] outside, and who must make important decisions based on what they see. It will help executives, analysts, investors, and others who have a stake in a specific industry to evaluate the impact of innovations, the outcomes of competitive battles, and the moves made by individual firms -- and to make smarter business decisions, forecasts, and stock recommendations based on those evaluations. The goal here [in Seeing What's Next] is to dramatically increase the odds of getting things right in the arena where wrong decisions could be devastating.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on March 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Christensen's two earlier books ("The Innovator's Dilemma," and "The Innovator's Solution") provided great new insights into business history and strategic thinking. "Seeing What's Next" goes on to attempt to demonstrate implementation of these two books' insights, unfortunately with less than total success.

Early in "Seeing What's Next," Christensen uses Dell Computer to illustrate the "Value Chain Evolution" theory's golden rule: Integrate to improve what is "not good enough" (speed, customization, and convenience of PC ordering and acquisition), and outsource what is "more than good enough" (the PC computer's architectural design) - certainly a potentially helpful insight.

"Seeing What's Next" eventually moves on to examining several sectors and making predictions for the future. 1)Education: Christensen sees on-line services from the University of Phoenix (UOP) as an innovation that is likely to disrupt the higher-education market. However, even the UOP has had limited success with this innovation - the vast majority of its services are still provided via bricks-and-mortar classrooms. (Another major UOP problem is that increasing questions are aimed at its credibility - especially the strength of its instructors, and its very low graduation rate.) On the other hand, Christensen probably has it right in seeing community-colleges provide a much greater challenge to pupils currently "over-served" by higher-cost state universities. (This applies to businesses and the general public as well - the vast majority of "research" undertaken at major universities offers very little or no concrete value to society.)

Aviation is another sector examined.
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