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September 24, 2003

Christensen's new book

Need to buy this one. Sustainable growth and growing importance of innovating in commodity environments.

The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor (Harvard Business School Press, 2003)

Big Idea: Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma became the bible of the digital revolution after its 1997 publication. The idea was simple, elegant, and terrifying: the very attributes that give big, established companies their advantage contain the seeds of their destruction. Success blinds incumbents to disruptive technologies and innovative upstarts that come from nowhere.

Today, the fear and paranoia that drove company leaders to cannibalization, creative destruction, and radical reinvention have unwound into a less-sexy, but no less-urgent, agenda: sustainable growth. Christensen and Raynor not only appreciate how hard it is to create new sources of explosive growth -- they understand and unpack why it's so hard. They zero in on the critical hinges of growth: what products you should develop, which customers you should focus on, and what kind of organization and processes you need to shape average business ideas into disruptive strategies that create new markets.

Data Point: If entropy is the ruling dynamic of the natural world, commoditization is the unyielding force that animates the marketplace. In 1992, the first one-gigabyte 3.5-inch disk drives were introduced at prices that offered 60% gross margins. Today, disk-drive companies barely manage 15% margins on products that are 60 times better.

The Last Word: Every dilemma demands a solution. And this book lives up to its promise: More than an engrossing read shot through with Christensen's rigorous thinking and trademark clarity, it's a valuable tool for every aspiring upstart -- whether you're inside a billion-dollar company or have a billion-dollar glimmer in your eye.

September 24, 2003 in Books | Permalink


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