Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 14 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted September 28, 2010

    Trying hard isn't enough when it comes to innovation!

    We are all familiar with the story of the innovative and nimble startup surpassing the corporate leader with a disruptive technology that the larger corporation was blind to. Why this happens is the subject of Clayton Christensen's thoughtful Innovator's Dilemma. Although originally published in 1997, it's a highly relevant and useful read today.
    Christensen was interested in how the market leaders missed the disruptive innovations. At the time, most thought the corporate leaders were just too arrogant or too bureaucratic to see the disruption coming. Could there be more structural forces at play? Turns out, there are.

    The first half of the book follows the development of the disk drive and the hydraulic excavator to understand and make clear these forces. First, the author distinguishes between sustaining technologies and disruptive technologies. Market leaders, it turns out, are capable of innovation but those innovations typically occur as incremental evolutionary changes to existing products - sustaining innovations.

    Where they get tripped up is the development of disruptive technologies which fundamentally transform the existing product. In many cases the market leader also developed early forms of the disruptive technology or were at least aware of the development of the technology.
    Christensen, a professor at the Harvard Business School, makes the case that in ignoring the disruptive technology, the market leader was acting quite rationally. They were following their customers' and corporation's best interests.

    Christensen discovered that the disruptive technology yields a product that is inferior as measured by the traditional metrics for product quality. In the case of the disk drive it was price/unit storage. For the excavators, it was reach. For the disk drives, the disruption was the introduction of smaller and smaller drives. At each step of the way, these products were costlier than the existing larger drives in terms of price/unit storage. However, their advantages, in terms of other characteristics such as size, weight, and power consumption outweighed nominal improvement in the price/unit storage ratio provided by sustaining technologies. Eventually, price catches up and the disruptive products are better in both sets of characteristics.

    For the excavator (a big digger), the existing machines used cables to extend and control the basket. The overriding measure of performance was reach and capacity - how far out could the basket reach and grab a bucket of dirt. When hydraulic excavators appeared, their reach was very limited because of the physics of the hydraulic cylinders needed to control the baskets. Even today, a cable excavator will give you a longer reach. However, the hydraulic excavators had advantages of safety (no cable breaks) and had significantly lower maintenance costs. Eventually, as manufacturing of hydraulic excavators grew in practice, reach extended and for many uses such as building foundation excavation and utility pipe laying, as soon as the reach was sufficient for the task, the improvement in safety and the reduced maintenance costs made the hydraulic excavators superior.

    This book will change the way you think about innovation and the structures needed not only to spark the ideas, but get them built into new product lines.

    My name is David Marquet, from Practicum, Inc and we help our customers get everyone be a leader and avoid casting employees into follower roles. To co

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Great food for thought

    Even if it does get a bit clunky at times, the ideas are important considerations for managers today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    AWSOME

    HIGHLY recomended do read this book it is amazing!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2005

    A Must-Read!

    Professor Clayton M. Christensen¿s excellent book is a classic of strategy literature. The innovator¿s dilemma is that doing the right things can lead to failure. Sometimes it is wrong to listen to customers, invest in the highest return opportunities and do all of the things that made a successful company succeed. Clearly written, amply documented, provocative and challenging, this book is indispensable for anyone in business. If it has a shortcoming, it is that it focuses more on the dilemma than on resolving it and it does not offer specific remedial prescriptions. However, Christensen has authored or co-authored two other books that attempt to remedy that deficiency. We heartily recommend this book, which remains the leader of the three. It has the potential to change the way managers think about business - any business.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2002

    Highly Recommended

    Great book. Highly recommended reading on why large technology companies are often unable to win against startups.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2001

    HOW TRADITION, BUREAUCRACY, DISBELIEF AND MISCONCEPTION HURT

    Professor Christensen is a Boston Consulting Group alum, as am I, and that firm has been very interested in the question of why dominant firms lose out to new entrants featuring innovative technologies. Professor Christensen has written the best work on this subject that it has been my pleasure to read. Unlike most academics, he is rigorous without being dull or irrelevant to those who must operate businesses. I particularly found his exploration of the differences between a sustaining and a disruptive technology to be very useful. His insights into how accounting and financial concerns can 'stall' organizational progress were also valuable. From the perspective of an organization seeking a 2,000 percent solution (a way to get 20 times the results with the same resources or the same results 20 times faster), his cases (especially the hard disk ones) accurately capture many of the classic 'stalls' that delay organizational progress. For example, tradition says that everyone focuses on serving the current customers. That's where the bread and butter are. Also, the overhead structure is established to serve those current needs. Both perspectives no longer serve when a disruptive technology is involved, and he persuasively argues that being first with disruptive technologies is very important. Bureaucracy comes into play because the authorization process requires a lot of confidence by those who will bet their careers that the market and financial projections will be achieved. The bureaucracy also increases the likelihood that an error will be made, or an unnecessary delay will occur. Disbelief comes from the tendency to misdefine who the customers will be and to underestimate the long-term potential of the technology. Professor Christensen puts in some nice technology development/time charts in to show how to better anticipate a new technology expanding from a lower need-defined market into the mainstream market. Misconception comes in because people misunderstand the danger of the disruptive technology, and how to manage it. THE INNOVATOR'S DILEMMA is very hepful here because it provides a model of best practices to cure the misconception stall here. Three other stalls are often important: Procrastination (delaying when delay is costly); Ugly Ducklings (avoiding what is unattractive, physically or financially); and Communications (not getting the message or not understanding the message). I suspect all 3 play a big role in the cases here, but I could not tell from the way the cases were written. I hope in his future work, Professor Christensen will also tie his thinking into the idea of innovation itself. I personally favor an 8 step process. One, measure everything you can in an area to understand how the measurements can help you improve. Two, apply the same approach to your most important activities. Be sure to consider how and why noncustomers do not find your offerings appealing. Three, seek out the best practices in other industries in these important activities, and estimate where these best practices will be in five years. Four, assemble a new combination of best practices from these cases that goes beyond what any one company will be doing in five years. Five, imagine the best that anyone will ever be able to do, ever, as the ideal best practice. In the case of disruptive technologies this would involve spotting them well in advance and being able to pursue them without pain to the rest of the organization, and pursuing very rapid adoption that leads to dominating the new marketplace. The analogy of slime mold may fit here (slime mold can come together to form new combinations that can move to locations where the food is better, and also to make spores that attach to animals and are carried to new locations where food may also be better). Six, find ways to approach the ideal best practice. Seventh, put the best people, resources, and incentives together to create great success in exceeding the future best practice and a

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2001

    In depth and intelligent

    Excellent book. The topic of how good companies can fail is covered very thoroughly and effectively. The author uses tons of research and sources to back up his theories, and provides full explanations of each topic. Well researched, well organized, well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2000

    Rise and Fall of Well-managed Enterprises

    Clayton M. Christensen thoroughly and systematically analyzes the impact of both disruptive and sustaining technologies on well-managed enterprises. The author shows us how these enterprises belonging to very different industries fail precisely because they do all the right things in developing and bringing sustaining technologies to the market, i.e. 1. Listen to their customers carefully; 2. Invest enough money in developing new technologies that meet or exceed customer expectations; 3. Research market trends thoroughly; 4. Excel in allocating resources systematically to innovations that optimize returns. Christensen clearly explains to us why and how enterprises that are paragon of the above-mentioned approach to the market can lose their balance while dealing with the emergence of disruptive technologies. Well-managed enterprises eventually fail because they ignore or fight the five laws of disruptive technologies that Christensen has identified for us, i.e. 1. Tackle the disruptive technology appropriately, usually by setting up an autonomous entity free of the influence of mainstream customers; 2. Penetrate small markets through the use of an appropriate vehicle such as an autonomous entity, even if those markets don't allow well-managed enterprises to reach their targeted growth rates quickly; 3. Practice what Christensen calls 'agnostic marketing', i.e. gaining first experience in using a disruptive technology, often made possible by watching how real people use it rather than by listening to their wishes before making plans for implementation; 4. Pay due consideration to internal processes and values that make well-managed enterprises strong in one context and weak in another one; 5. Realize that mainstream customers are not necessarily able or willing to absorb any performance improvement that investing in sustaining technologies makes possible. To summarize, The Innovator's Dilemma brings a fresh perspective to an intricate issue that well-managed enterprises need to address sooner or later in their life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    Wonderful Ideas and Plans

    The author does a Superb job in discounting certain myths, suggesting nontraditional ideas, and giving us all hope as we face the tasks of changes in technology. He goes far beyond what I imagined, because he is simply brilliant in giving us the plans to develop out thoughts and strategies to win in the constantly changing marketplace.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 14 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1