Book #18: The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, Clayton Christiansen
To innovate is to take a risk. And risk is the engine of the entrepreneurial market place. Often where there is little risk, there is little reward. But where there is great risk there is a great potential for reward, yet also a great potential for failure. Good business supply products that are based on and cater to market demand. But truly great companies create and define markets. Apple has thrived by innovating a product you couldn’t even imagine and revolutionizing a market. Apple has mastered the art of disruptive technology. But this is not always the case. Why is it that many well run and profitable companies fade away as a result of disruptive technologies. In this book, Harvard Business professor Clayton Christiansen describes the phenomenon whereby companies of disruptive technologies often fail. He outlines his observations about why this happens and his solution to avoiding market irrelevance in the wake of a disruptive technology.
This book is definitely different from anything else I have read and posted so far and harkens back to my high school class in macroeconomics. While some of the business science is a foreign concept, I was alerted to this book when someone described the phenomenon of a disruptive technology (i.e. a concept/product that is so unique that the market doesn’t know how to respond to it). While I don’t think I will be applying the principles in this book routinely, I think the basic idea is something that can have broad application: people don’t have context for things that are new and it is my job to educate my “market.”