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What is the Innovator’s Dilemma?

By November 20, 2012 No Comments

Clayton Christensen’s book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, was published in 1952. In this book he explained his theory, disruptive innovation.

What is disruptive innovation?

In short, disruptive innovation means that companies focus less on the current trends in consumer needs in order to anticipate or create future needs.

There are a number of products that we never knew the value of until they were unveiled. When I first had a Walkman, I thought I was set. Then came portable CD players. Initially, portable CD players were nice but frustrating. The discs constantly skipped! Companies sought to solve this inconvenience by installing “skip protection.” If you’ll recall with me, every other month there was a new portable CD player that featured a higher level of skip protection. It went from 15 seconds to 30 seconds and so on.

Who would have thought that music would be reduced to data? When MP3s hit the market, they came bundled in either an MP3 player or an iPod. If someone asked you 20 years ago about an iPod, you’d be at little fault for responding with: “Huh?”

But Apple thought to anticipate and create future needs.

Make sure that your company always looks toward the future. Getting ahead on your competition means not only excelling at current demands, but also readying for the future.

Image Source: Innovator’s Dilemma.

Image Source: Disruptive Technology.

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