Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Deeper Dive Into Distruptive Innovations

For those of you interested in a deeper dive into Clayton Christensen's ideas on commercialization, you could read his book, The Innovator's Solution. But then if you're like me, you have a shelf full of tomes yet to read. So here's a more digensible interview that is a great overview. And to wet your whistle, here's an intriguing observation from the interview.
A company starts out in a direction conceived by the founder, and in 93% of companies that ultimately end up being successful, they figure out the original strategy doesn't work. But by kind of thorough experimentation and trial-and-error in the market, they happen upon or iterate towards a strategy and a business model that really is viable...

Innovation is actually not nearly as risky and random as historically has seemed to be the case. There isn't anything about the process of innovation per se, that makes it unpredictable. The problem in the past is, we just haven't quite known what are all the variables that affect whether we can succeed, nor have we known how to manage those variables well. What I hope we do here, is highlight for innovators, a bunch of these variables that really lie at the root of many innovative failures. If they can understand why this stuff happens, and control it well, they actually can be successful at innovation, much more frequently than historically has seemed to be the case.

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