The truth about digital disruption
The processes and incentives that companies use to keep focused on their main customers work so well that they blind those companies to important new technologies in emerging markets, and this leaves established companies vulnerable to new entrants who start by using the new technologies to target the low end of the market and gradually work their way upward to squeeze out incumbents in the profitable part of the market. That is the process of digital disruption for which Clayton Christensen is best known, and which is described in several articles in The Clayton M Christensen Reader.
The book provides a good overview of Christensen’s thinking, including articles on:
- What disruptive technologies are, and how to take advantage of them
- How to meet the challenge of disruptive change
- Understanding products through a customer’s eyes as solutions to “jobs to be done”
- Why the use of typical financial tools often prevents companies from investing in necessary innovation
- How to determine whether your company needs a new business model
- How a mergers or acquisition can be used to gain a new business model
- The importance of understanding how disruption will change an industry over time
- How to analyse the extent to which a disrupter has potential for damaging your business
- The ingredients of a useful management theory
- How to manage your career and personal life in a way that leads to lasting satisfaction
Christensen is one of the most original and influential business thinkers of the past 30 years, and in my opinion this reasonably concise book provides a very useful overview of his ideas for those who do not have time to read all his books.