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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A critical tool to understand and succeed with innovation
I rate business books on how well they help me understand the business and industry I work in, and at that score, I found The Innovator's Solution to be an extremely valuable book. It builds upon Clayton Christensen's previous book, The Innovator's Dilemma, which showed the paradox that well managed companies that listen to customers, and target the most attractive...
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by Derrick Peterman

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Fad Business Book
Alas for those of us who exist in the real world. It is demonstrably untrue that most of the major companies in the industry lost their leads to their competition because of "disruptive" technology. 32-bit OS/2 lost to a 16-bit shell riding on top of an 8-bit OS core (Windows 3.X). You might claim the PC was a "disruptive" system, but Dell is...
Published on Nov. 28 2003


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A critical tool to understand and succeed with innovation, Feb. 8 2004
By 
Derrick Peterman (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
I rate business books on how well they help me understand the business and industry I work in, and at that score, I found The Innovator's Solution to be an extremely valuable book. It builds upon Clayton Christensen's previous book, The Innovator's Dilemma, which showed the paradox that well managed companies that listen to customers, and target the most attractive markets are often blind sided by disruptive change.
While The Innovator's Dilemma described the phenomena, The Innovator's Solution is the business playbook to capitalize on it. The authors categorize business innovations into two types: Sustaining innovations target demanding, high-end customers with better performance than previously available, and disruptive innovations that introduce a product or service to new or less demanding customers, usually by providing a new level of convenience, or similar performance at a lower price.
Christensen and Raynor argue that both innovations are important to companies, although disruptive innovations are the ones that have the greater potential for growth. Unfortunately, disruptive innovations are difficult to identify, and as the authors demonstrate, often are not properly confronted and dealt with by managers. This book shows how businesses can identify the nature of innovations, and how best to allocate resources and plan strategically depending on whether an innovation is sustaining or disruptive.
The authors draw on a large body of case histories and business theory to present a compelling case. It differs from most business books by establishing a model, and then testing the predictions and limits of the model. For that reason alone, it is more valuable than the typical management book, which simply documents what was successful elsewhere, without a real analysis as to the reasons and limitations of this success.
I work in sales and marketing for a niche optical test and measurement company and this book allowed me to identify the sustaining and disruptive innovations occurring in this industry. The Innovator's Solution will help me to make my company more successful, and I expect it will have the same effect for you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Fad Business Book, Nov. 28 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
Alas for those of us who exist in the real world. It is demonstrably untrue that most of the major companies in the industry lost their leads to their competition because of "disruptive" technology. 32-bit OS/2 lost to a 16-bit shell riding on top of an 8-bit OS core (Windows 3.X). You might claim the PC was a "disruptive" system, but Dell is certainly no innovator, nor was Compaq nor was Gateway nor were any of the cloners. They just were more efficient manufacturers, hardly a disruptive "technology." Novell did not lose to NT because NT was disruptive; it lost because it actively discouraged third-party application development and refused to add a GUI to NetWare years after it was clear people wanted one. The Mac was "disruptive" yet a second-rate imitation ended up owning the GUI roost. MicroPro once owned word processing but failed because of an internal positioning war. Ashton-Tate crashed and burned because of a PR fiasco. WordPerfect introduced a stinker of a Windows product just as the market was turning to Windows because the head of the company didn't want to force his best programmers to leave their DOS code bases. CA has flourished by buying dying mainframe companies and milking installed bases. Borland nearly died by pursuing object-oriented programming, arguably a disruptive technology, and held up releases of its core products while it innovated itself into irrelevance. What does any of this have to do with disruption?
The disk drive industry the authors used in "Dilemma" is not very disruptive; rather, it represents an industry that makes steady incremental progress on an underlying technology that has not changed since the 60's; spinning platters coated in metal oxides over which a metal boom rides reading data from magnetically charged particles. This has always been a commodity-driven industry, margins are intrinsically slim, and the key to success is managing the inventory flow as you move to a next generation of smaller, more densely packed platters. A well-run company can handle this and continue to make money at a nice clip if its internal business processes are geared to do this efficiently; Intel is the prime example.
Is the Pentium 4 a "disruptive" chip? Hardly, but it makes Intel a lot of money! Is the Opteron more disruptive? Probably, but is AMD rolling in dough? Nope.
Going back in time, was the 8086 more disruptive than the Motorola 68000? Nope. Who won that war? Intel. How? Crush, a marketing and sales program. Is this an example of "disruptive" technology?
People continue to fall for these fad theories which simply don't track back to events as they actually occurred.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kevs view, June 24 2009
By 
Kevin Amyot (BC Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
I found that the author identified many challenges that I experience as a small business owner. A good use of familiar companies as examples of both failure and success make this book identifiable to any size organization as the challenges are applicable to small, medium and large businesses. The remedies and solutions that are offered are realistic and doable. I would recommed this book as an entry to mid level manager's aid.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good explanation of the solution, July 13 2004
By 
Keith Appleyard "kapple999" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
This is easier to read than the Innovators Dilemma. There is a more varied range of Product and Industry case studies, which helps to show how broadly this theory can be applied.
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, he suggests that having competing phone standards is not wasteful. Only an Economist would say that. A Consumer finds it frustrating. He has the good grace to suggest in a footnote that some readers might take issue with him, and I am one. He belittles the benefit of schoolgirls from Sweden using their phone on vacation in Spain, but I can vouch that being able to readily check on the safety of my teenage daughters when they're in foreign Countries for over 10% of the year is a definite benefit!
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. Also some silly proof-reading slips, such as a "semi-log" graph being described as "semi- long".
Probably still worth reading the Innovators Dilemma before reading this one, just to get the theory.
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4.0 out of 5 stars not very bad, April 17 2004
By 
"yokoono6" (Kyoto, Kansai, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
sorry for my poor english but i am a student in kyoto university in japan and i really enjoyed this book. i have read many reviews on this website and it make me understand that many people will focus on marketing side of the analysis inside this book. but this is not true. the book has many good idea about overall business management. some people will say that these idea are not new. so what? good idea is good idea and i surely enjoy reading the wonderful thought in this book. i would recommendation you read it for youself. i hope my reader review is useful to you. thank you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A dilemma with a solution?, Feb. 24 2004
This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
I expected Innovator's Solution to provide a resolution to the Innovator's Dilemma-until I realized dilemmas have no satisfactory solution. Innovator's Solution provides common-sense strategies for companies to follow in order to avoid getting blindsided by disruptive innovations--innovate and cannibalize your businesses-but lacks advice on how to avoid being out innovated.
Christensen outlines the Dilemma again in this book, presenting the concepts of disruptive and sustaining innovation, and why large companies consistently struggle with disruptive innovation. He does present some tactics for large companies, such as investing in a venture capital fund. This provides companies with invaluable information about the future in their market and provides an opportunity to identify disruptive technologies early on.
Like many technology books, Innovator's Solution, stretches to make its argument without the aid of quantitative research. Nevertheless, this book is well suited for managers wanting to understand the Dilemma and began putting the theory into practice.
I gave this book 4-stars because it is insightful and very well written. While no golden solution is presented, Christensen outlines several strategies and tactics for addressing the dilemma. Certainly many books will follow by other authors.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Christensen's Dilemma, Feb. 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
Funny, the author faces the same dilemma as his innovators!! Isn't it about time Christensen innovates around the next "disruptive" management fad?
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2.0 out of 5 stars NO SOLUTION HERE., Feb. 1 2004
By 
Shashank Tripathi (Gadabout) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
Let me save you the time. The writing in this *executive book* is fluent, reminiscent of Clayton's Innovator's Dilemma. Which makes this a readable book.
But the idea is VERY ordinary if you think about it for more than a minute, a near-mindless rehash of perfectly predictable research methods that are already prevalent and have been available (and exercised) for decades, which means do not expect any solutions to the intriguing and universal problem Clayton posed in "Dilemma."
We are presented with example after example of how companies have missed out on customer targeting. The big token example is of a milkshake retail outlet, which just mistargeted their clientele. The authors then reveal the big tra-la find that this firm's customers in the morning were health-unconscious commuters who needed something to sip on trains, and some kids in the evening...etc etc.
One wonders if the authors have been so busy writing this tripe that something called qualititative marketing research totally escaped their radar. I could count a dozen MR companies *off-hand* that could conduct simple research like this in a matter of 1 week, and have the results on my desk by next Friday.
So much for the "solution." I was sorely disappointed with this book because I have the utmost regard for Clayton. Grab this biz pulp for embellishing your next staff speech. But manage your expectations in terms of real take-aways.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Understands the problem but not the solution. Impractical., Jan. 17 2004
By 
BP - "Afficionado" (Greenbrae, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
This book makes a prescription. It's a pretty simple one. Make sure innovation happens. Hire people to cannibalize the business you are in. Back those people. I will say flatly it is simple-minded.
Another strategy is for a company to get in on disruptive technologies by participating in a venture capital pool in their sector. That's an insurance policy, and a win-win all the way around. They can get a look at what is coming at them and so they can make plans for what the future life of their current line is likely to be - invaluable business intelligence. If the competition is really a disrupter, they get the big payoff from their venture capital investment. Heads they win, tails they win.
This book has a good description of how things work, but the prescription isn't terribly useful. It indicates just how lacking in real world experience Mr. Raynor is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for all Product Developers, Jan. 13 2004
This review is from: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Hardcover)
If you are at all involved with the creation and marketing of new products (and not just high-tech products), I heartily recommend this book -- you'll walk away with a better understanding of:
-- How resources, process, and values combine to determine what a business organization can, and cannot do
-- How to think about "jobs for hire" in order to shape your user-centric innovation strategy
-- When to think about producing an integrated vs. a dis-integrated product offering, and why
-- What the resource allocation process is and how it will shape the destiny of your company
And, if you've already read "The Innovator's Dilemma", this book will help to expand and clarify many of the concepts you already have seen. For instance, the emphasis is now on "disruptive business models", rather than "disruptive technologies", because it is really how something makes money which is the determinant of whether it is disruptive or not. Disruption is a choice, not something intrinsic to a specific technology.
Definitely one of the best business books of the past year. The chapter on "jobs for hire" is worth the cover price alone.
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The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Michael E. Raynor (Hardcover - Oct. 1 2003)
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