The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth Hardcover – Oct 1 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma) analyzes the strategies that allow corporations to successfully grow new businesses and outpace the other players in the marketplace. Christensen's earlier book examined how focusing on profits can destroy even well-run corporations, while this book focuses on companies expanding by being "disruptors" who are able to outpace their entrenched competition. The authors (Christensen is a professor at Harvard Business School and Raynor, a director at Deloitte Research) examine the nine business decisions integral to growth, including product development, organizational structure, financing and key customer base. They cite such companies as IBM, AT&T, Sony, Microsoft and others to illustrate their points. Generally, the writing is clear and specific. For example, in discussing whether a company has the resources necessary for growth, the authors say, "In order to be confident that managers have developed the skills required to succeed at a new assignment, one should examine the sorts of problems they have wrestled with in the past. It is not as important that managers have succeeded with the problem as it is for them to have wrestled with it and developed the skills and intuition for how to meet the challenge successfully the next time around"; they then provide a real-life example of a software company. Similar important strategies give readers insights that they can use in their own workplaces. People looking for quick fixes may find the charts, diagrams and extensive footnotes daunting, but readers familiar with more technical business management tomes will find this one both stimulating and beneficial.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on June 24 2009 by Kevin Amyot
sorry for my poor english but i am a student in kyoto university in japan and i really enjoyed this book. Read morePublished on April 17 2004
Funny, the author faces the same dilemma as his innovators!! Isn't it about time Christensen innovates around the next "disruptive" management fad?Published on Feb. 18 2004
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2004 by BP -
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... Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2004 by Customer
Christensen analysis is perfect insofar as its views of disruptive technologies are concerned. I wonder what is the cost analysis of disruptive technologies deployed near or after... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2004 by Andre Rosenthal
Even software developers should read this book; much like the better books on Agile methodologies, the major contribution is a framework for finding the right kinds of processes... Read morePublished on Dec 21 2003 by Lars Bergstrom
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... Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2003
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