The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business Paperback – October 4, 2011
There is a newer edition of this item:
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
- 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.
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780062060242
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062060242
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.76 x 8 inches
- Publisher : HarperBusiness; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0062060244
- Best Sellers Rank: #72,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Clayton M. Christensen has recognized a major problem in business, that of tapping into disruptive innovation in a successful way, and tells us how to avoid the pitfalls and to leverage it to the advantage of the company. He has plenty of insight and is a big-picture thinker. The book is enlightening and is required reading for any business person that is in a field where innovation is important. By the way, this is a business book, not an inventor's book - as it is not about innovation itself, but is about applying that innovation to your business.
Once you get through the first couple of chapters you will realize how important this book can be and you will want to read the rest of it.
The Innovator’s Dilemma explains how excellent companies with excellent managers with excellent teams and excellent strategies can do everything right and still fail. The Innovator’s Dilemma also explains how innovators with “disruptive” technologies on the fringes of the mainstream cannot follow the same rules as existing firms.
In driving toward market leadership, existing and disruptive firms must follow separate and distinct paths.
Christensen shows that successful innovation is not unpredictable. This comes with the recognition, however, that “data only exist about the past” and hence what is working in the present for leading firms need not apply to disruptive firms of the future. This paradigm necessarily applies to all companies and is not exclusive to technological ones.
The core value of this book is that it gives specific, actionable strategies on when listening to consumers is dead wrong, when “what has worked before” should be abandoned, and when cost-ineffective strategies should be pursued as opposed to more profitable ones. All of the author’s conclusions are supported by extensive research and thorough market analysis.
Part I is called “Why Great Companies Fail” and its aim is self-explanatory. Part II, the larger chunk of the book, is called “Managing Disruptive Technology Change” and gives practical and real-life advice on how to adapt to innovation and changing market landscapes. The entire book is grounded in historical and contemporary examples so each point that the author makes is illustrated with a case study.
Another benefit of this book is that it is repetitive and the author frequently pauses to recount what has already been said and where he is going. This makes reading isolated sections of the book very easy without having to rely on other parts for clarity. Also, although the book is aimed at those in the business world, it is extremely easy to read and understandable from a non-business perspective. Furthermore, in order to get the “main idea” one could just read the Preface and Chapter 11 (Summary) to extract the essential points of the text. In the end, The Innovator’s Dilemma is a business classic for a reason, and no entrepreneur, founder of a startup, innovator, businessperson—or anyone who thinks there is a better way to do things—should be without it.
The concept of how small companies can thrive in a world dominated by large companies is an interesting one, especially for the entrepreneurs facing Goliath. Christensen lays out several test cases where the larger company couldn't innovate, allowing smaller companies to enter at the bottom of the market. He even shows how and why it made sense for the management of these dominant companies to allow this to happen - at the time. Innovation is not an easy prospect for large companies because their large existing customer base often will not allow the innovations to move forward because it doesn't fit their needs. Innovations often bring a different customer and large companies are not always able to choose to service both.
Christensen provides a few examples of this phenomena in excruciating detail, studying the rapidly changing industries of disk drives and steel production. He rounds out the book with a discussion of the steam shovel and how it lost out to hydraulics. In a final case study, he examines how the principles could be applied to a potential disruptive technology - the electric car. He lays out a complete game plan for a company to take the innovations available and capture a new market. Sadly, in the years since publication in 1997, it doesn't appear anyone has taken up the challenge, although perhaps Tesla Motors has come the closest.
The problem I have with Christensen's book is his writing style. He is definitely a Harvard Business School professor. He delves deeply into his research, explaining every nuance of the industry in such detail as to leave no doubt he has done an extensive study. I grew up in IT, living just miles away from one of the great innovators of the disk drive industry, yet I learned many things about disk drives. I hadn't imagined I could get a technical education from a book on business management.
Christensen's writing style was the biggest barrier to the material. His explanations were too deeply steeped with details that didn't move the story forward. While the datum was valid and important, it didn't necessarily have to be presented in long, exhaustive detail. Today's readers do not have a lot of time or desire to spend long stretches of deep explanation. I found it necessary to spend at least 45 minutes reading before getting "into" the book. I couldn't help comparing the style to that of Jim Collins in Great by Choice . Yes, Collins is also a researcher who loves detail. The difference is that Collins moves all his detailed explanations to the appendix where those who desire it can find it. The book itself is organized into fast moving, short chapters laying out the salient points distilled from the exhaustive research. I would really have appreciated this approach in this book by Christensen. Collins is a storyteller where Christensen is a Harvard professor.
Christensen's insight is worth the slog through the knee deep data. Just be ready with a canteen for dry stretches of endless detail as far as the eye can see.
Top reviews from other countries
If you have to read one book about preparing yourself or your company to disruptive technology or more over understanding how new technologies, as immature it could be, might become disruptive in the next few years or decades, this is it.
I see why apple is so successful with some of their products: why they prepared iPad on the early 2000s, for example, and they launched at a precise point of the time (on an emerging market), when it could do something useful with WiFi, 3G, and an ARM chip powerful enough for the web, and what was probably the vision that makes them do it, the iPad Pro, a laptop replacement for the consumer market. More than 10 years ago.
Sometimes, just to be able to understand needs, to be able to draw a curve, could project you on the next decade, and make you successful like no other!
I would have given this a five star, but I do find some of the case studies provide to much detail about the industry that I find is not necessary to get the point across, yet I understand the need for the detail as you need to understand the context, stage and how the industry got there.
I have been very curious as to how healthcare could undergo the same disruption, that has been so clearly demonstrated in the disk drive and backhoe business. The theory of disruption curiosly seems to make a very compelling case in this field.
I have picked up the innovators prescription for healthcare and cannot wait to begin reading it.
I would like to ask Clayton Christensen if there is a case for the Indian satellite industry and disruptive innovation, if I get a chance that is.