Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

by Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon

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The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay premium prices for.How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights. After years of research, Christensen has come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim—that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation—is wrong. Customers don’t buy products or services; they “hire” them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The “Jobs to Be Done” approach can be seen in some of the world’s most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes—it’s about predicting new ones. Christensen contends that by understanding what causes customers to “hire” a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they’ll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit-and-miss efforts.This book carefully lays down Christensen’s provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world—and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441739612
Publisher: Harper Business
Publication date: 10/28/2016
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)

About the Author

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the architect of and the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation.

Taddy Hall is a principal with the Cambridge Group and Leader of Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation Project. As such, he helps senior executives create successful new products and improve innovation processes. He also works extensively with executives in emerging markets as an advisor to the nonprofit organization, Endeavor.

KAREN DILLON is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review and co-author of New York Times best-seller How Will You Measure Your Life. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 2011 she was named by Ashoka as one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women.

DAVID S. DUNCAN is a senior partner at Innosight, and adviser to senior executives on innovation strategy and growth, helping them navigate disruptive change, create sustainable growth, and transform their organizations to thrive for the long-term. He is a graduate of Duke University and earned a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University.

John Pruden is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. His exposure to many people, places, and experiences throughout his life provides a deep creative well from which he draws his intelligent audiobook narration and talented vocal characterizations. His audiobook reading of The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers was chosen by the Washington Post as a Best Audiobook of 2010.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why You Should Hire This Book ix

Section I An Introduction to Jobs Theory

Chapter 1 The Milk Shake Dilemma 3

Chapter 2 Progress, Not Products 21

Chapter 3 Jobs in the Wild 47

Section 2 The Hard Work-and Payoff-of Applying Jobs Theory

Chapter 4 Job Hunting 69

Chapter 5 How to Hear What Your Customers Don't Say 95

Chapter 6 Building Your Résumé 123

Section 3 The Jobs to Be Done Organization

Chapter 7 Integrating Around a Job 151

Chapter 8 Keeping Your Eye on the Job 177

Chapter 9 The Jobs-Focused Organization 197

Chapter 10 Final Observations About the Theory of Jobs 221

Acknowledgments 235

Index 249

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