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The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business Paperback – October 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062060244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062060242
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this revolutionary bestseller, innovation expert Clayton M. Christensen says outstanding companies can do everything right and still lose their market leadership—or worse, disappear altogether. And not only does he prove what he says, but he tells others how to avoid a similar fate.

Focusing on “disruptive technology,” Christensen shows why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation. Whether in electronics or retailing, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know when to abandon traditional business practices. Using the lessons of successes and failures from leading companies, The Innovator’s Dilemma presents a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.

Find out:

  • When it is right not to listen to customers.
  • When to invest in developing lower-performance products that promise lower margins.
  • When to pursue small markets at the expense of seemingly larger and more lucrative ones.

Sharp, cogent, and provocative, The Innovator’s Dilemma is one of the most talked-about books of our time—and one no savvy manager or entrepreneur should be without.

About the Author

CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN is the Kim B. Clark Professor at Harvard Business School, the author of seven books, a five-time recipient of the McKinsey Award for Harvard Business Review's best article, and the cofounder of four companies, including the innovation consulting firm Innosight. In 2011 he was named the world's most influential business thinker in a biennial ranking conducted by Thinkers50.

Customer Reviews

The book is very clear and well written.
Eric Kassan
The Innovator's Dilemma shows that, if addressed properly, disruptive technologies can prove highly successful and profitable.
H. Arsham
This is a book from a very different kind of author.
Jeremy P

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Kartick Vaddadi on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is full of insight. Here's a summary, in case you want to get a good feel of what's in the book or want to refresh your memory without re-reading the whole book.

(Here, the term "technology" refers to not just engineering and manufacturing, but also marketing, investment and managerial processes -- anything that transforms the inputs of production, like land, labour and people to products and services of higher value.)

(Some of the examples are partly my own conclusions.)

INTRODUCTION:
- Why is it so hard to *sustain* success?
- Is success so unpredictable as it sounds?
- This book is not about poorly-run firms. It's about why well-run firms often lose. It addresses the first question above and partly the second.

CHAPTER 1:
- Innovations can be sustaining (better than the previous product on the same terms) or disruptive (worse than the previous product when judged by the traditional criteria, but better in different ways).
- Sustaining vs disruptive is different from incremental vs radical. The latter comparison is about the degree of change; the former about the dimensions on which the judgment is made. For example, moving from a 1 GB to a 2 GB hard disc would be an incremental change, and moving to a 1 TB hard disc would be a radical change (1000x capacity), but both are sustaining changes, since the things that matter are the same (capacity, cost per GB, etc). Whereas moving to an SSD is a disruptive change, since it performs worse than a hard disc on the traditional criteria (capacity, cost per GB, number of write cycles) but is better in terms of new criteria (speed, size, power consumption, withstands shocks, etc). So, forget about incremental vs. radical: it doesn't matter here.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By H. Arsham on October 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Innovator's Dilemma explores how the creation of new technologies can cause companies to lose market share or their markets entirely, even companies that do everything right such as listening to their customers, watching the marketplace, and investing in research and development. The author argues that, while existing thriving companies can be successful with sustaining technologies, these same companies often falter with the advent of disruptive technologies. They either often do not want to put their resources into developing the new technology, because their existing customer do not want it or they attempt to fit the new technology into the existing market instead of looking to create new markets for the new product which generally doesn't work. Both of these decisions cause the company to lag in the development of the disruptive technology and eventually wither away to the competition of smaller companies that focused on developing the eruptive technology.

The dilemma examined is, while it is important for companies to give their customers what they want to be successful in the present, they need to know when to begin to move their resources into technologies or services t hat represent the moneymakers and markets of tomorrow. Though concentrating mainly on the disk drive industry, the author also looks at the retailing industry, pharmaceutical industry, and automobile industry including the development of the electric car, among others. Examples of disruptive technologies include the evolution of disk drives from 14 inch to 8 inch to 5.25 inch to 3.5 inch to 1.8 inch, the introduction of off-road motorcycles to North America. The replacement of transistors by vacuum tubes, and the creation of discount retailers such as K-Mart.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By DJ on October 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
In a landmark study, the author argues that the basis of competition among businesses undergoes a paradigm shift everytime a disruptive technology is born. So what is a disruptive technology? Remember what Walmart did to Sears? Of course you do, because disruptive technologies are usually products or services that are faster, cheaper, smaller, and more convinient. Ultimately, good companies must refrain from doing what got them to the top in the first place--listening to their customers and believing everything comes down to superior technology--in order to successfully compete with the onslaught of start-ups redefining both the buying hierarchies and value networks in which they are implicated.

This is without a doubt one of the best business books I have ever read.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Tell it like it is on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I endured the drone of the audio book. He could have said it all--with examples--in a 20-minute snippet. Just three points sum it up:

1. If you want to do something 'disruptive', spin off another company or a somewhat isolated department.
2. Since it is innovative and therefore untested, be aware that you cannot project customer reaction in advance [no-brainer]. Refine the product by observing how your customers are using your product [another no-brainer].
3. An organization's capability to go ahead with something innovative is to consider its 'RPV': resources, processes and values.

Despite the examples, the book comes across as a lot of theory. And it really does not have tangible or practical solutions that one can start applying right away. We all know dilemmas; we want solutions.
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