The Innovator's Dilemma

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

I finally read The Innovator's Dilemma. Such a great book, especially for the one caring about technology like me. It brought a new theory (new as of 1997). As a researcher, I love great theory, and this book brought a great one.

It is both a management and "technology" book with the questions being asked are "Why is success so difficult to sustain?" and "Is successful innovation really as unpredictable as the data suggest?". My key takeaways probably are:

  • Big successful companies are really good at dealing with new innovations that sustain their success (their market, the process, their values, ...) but almost paralyzed by potential innovations that can disrupt their success. Because at the beginning, those potentially disruptive innovations do not pose any threats to their success: they have different goals (different markets, processes, values, ...)
  • The rate of increase of market demand is often slower than the improvement rate of technology. So disruptive innovations often start at lower end, less profitable markets (basically do not threaten the mainstream market of big successful companies at all), and then gradually move up.
  • And there are ideas about how to identify these potentially disruptive innovations and harness these principles (instead of fighting them)