Book Review: “Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton Christensen

Enjoyed the first half of book before the it’s due back at the library. Will try to borrow it again.
The book I read was the first edition from 1997. The disk drive industry case study was especially interesting because I lived through those days of evolution from 14″ down to 8″, 3.5″, and then 2.5″ and now 1.8″.

The author blames the customers for keeping the good company at the incremental improvement pace and not having the resources to invest in the up and coming disruptive cheap technology, that eventually become good enough and cheap enough to meet the new set of requirements. It’s not because of bad management. Instead, it’s the good management and the rigid supply chain that makes diversions from the existing course of action difficult.

It would take a different, smaller organization facing a different set of customers to make it possible, as recommended by the author. The author offers other possible avenues to be innovative.

Noted the phases of product competition: Performance, reliability, convenience and then price. The key principles of disruptive technology: 1. companies depend on customers and investors for resources, 2. small markets don’t solve the growth needs of large companies, 3. markets that don’t exist cannot be analyzed, 4. technology supply may not equal market demand,

Characteristics of disruptive technologies:
1. Weakness of disruptive technologies are their strengths.
2. Typically simpler, cheaper, and more reliable and convenient than established technologies, e.g. Quickbook vs. traditional bookkeeping software.

The case study of the electric car as an disruptive technology is still relevant and makes a strong point.

Lots of case studies and an interesting read and a must read for high-tech executives.