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The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business [Paperback]

Clayton Christensen
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 2011

“Absolutely brilliant. Clayton Christensen provides an insightful analysis of changing technology and its importance to a company’s future success.”
—Michael R. Bloomberg

“This book ought to chill any executive who feels bulletproof —and inspire entrepreneurs aiming their guns.”
Forbes

The Innovator’s Dilemma is the revolutionary business book that has forever changed corporate America. Based on a truly radical idea—that great companies can fail precisely because they do everything right—this Wall Street Journal, Business Week and New York Times Business bestseller is one of the most provocative and important business books ever written. Entrepreneurs, managers, and CEOs ignore its wisdom and its warnings at their great peril.


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The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
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Product Description

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.


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WHEN I BEGAN my search for an answer to the puzzle of why the best firms can fail, a friend offered some sage advice. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good companion for "Crossing the Chasm" Jan. 20 2004
Format:Paperback
Clayton Christensen breaks technology developments into two groups. "Sustaining" technology improvements are those which seem to be in line with the needs of the current customers. The "Disruptive" technology developments are those which don't immediately seem to meet the established customer's demands. The basic problem is that often the large companies get blindsided by disruptive technology, and they either don't react, or react too late. Normally someone will figure out a slightly new market for the disruptive technology, improve the basic process, drive down the costs, and then go after the more established markets.
Clayton shows how this model applies to a number of different industries over the last hundred years. He has a lot of hard data from the Disk Drive industry, but he mentions a number of other industries which underwent fundamental changes, and shows how the old companies were not able to adapt to the changes.
"The Innovator's Dilemma" and "Crossing the Chasm" go well together. They are addressing many of the same issues from different perspectives. Clayton Christensen is looking at changes in the market place from the point of view of the large established companies, while Geoffrey A. Moore is coming from the other direction, that of a small startup company with some new cool technology. Clayton is more concerned with technology, while Geoffrey is focused on more on marketing issues.
This is a very well written book, good for anyone in business. It reads well, and I found it very thought provoking. There are a lot of good ideas here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Driven by disks May 3 2004
Format:Paperback
Clay Christensen combines the science of empirical research with the art of organizational behavior in his best-selling "The Innovator's Dilemma." The book provides tangible advice on how to foster innovation within a corporate environment. His case studies draw from the successes and failures of American companies within numerous industries (disk drives, excavators, motorcycles, software). Christensen's strong points include a creative presentation of data, lucid writing and frank admission that the advice in his book is not a one-size-fits-all panacea for management challenges. But a heads-up to readers: perhaps 50% of the book centers on the disk-drive manufacturing industry. Although the lessons learned in hard drives are interesting, a more balanced approach would have been welcome. "The Innovators Dilemma" is a well written management how-to, in the same league as classics by Peters or Hammer. The book seems to be written for managers in large organizations, but entrepreneurs will probably find the material just as beneficial.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great book for managers Nov. 11 2003
Format:Paperback
Today, traditional, well-known and well-respected companies are faced with a marketplace that is suffering from the impact of geopolitical issues of war and terrorism, regional and worldwide economic difficulties, and the extended global reach of formerly regional players. If that were not enough to keep a manager up at night, many are also facing disruptions from rapidly changing technologies. In his book entitled, The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen tackles the concept of disruptive technologies - what they are, how they are nurtured, and how they have the potential to turn previously successful companies into the roadkill of capitalism. This book is well written and insightful, bringing the concepts to life with a variety of real-life examples. I highly recommend this book for business executives, both those who are living the experience today and those who think they are immune. For me, it is on to the just published sequel, The Innovator's Solution.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to a nice Theory July 13 2004
Format:Paperback
Not quite as easy to read as I would have liked. Christensen describes some very interesting & plausible theories, but is somewhat confined into employing the computer disk industry as the rapidly changing example which both demonstrates & proves his theories, and its not necessarily the most exciting case material. Other products only get a minor look-in.
What I did like is how he covers the footnotes at the end of each Chapter - so if they don't interest you, you can skip over them, but if they do interest you, then you don't have to struggle to the back of the book. I wish more authors & publishers would use that technique.
One quibble - given his Economics background - of course there are plenty of graphs, and 99% of them are straight lines - there are no time dependent variances in his world.
Read this before you read the Innovators Solution.
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Format:Paperback
What more can be said about this book that hasn't already? Even an individual contributing developer like myself in a non-management role benefits from it, as there are great examples of how new products move from niche to mainstream and upset their competitors. After reading it, you should understand why it's so dangerous to keep your head down and *only* listen to your current and up-market growth customers.
The only downside to the book is the lack of practical advice on how to avoid being out-innovated, and Christensen's follow-on book, _The Innovator's Solution_, nicely addresses even that.
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