"The Innovator's Dilemma" Slides and Audio
I had the opportunity a while back to hear Clayton Christensen, author of "The Innovators Dilemma", give a talk based on his book. He's a good speaker, interspersing his talk with stories while providing an overview of occasionally complex concepts. A variation on the lecture I saw is available online at IT Conversations. I put up three different sets of slides that all match pretty well with the audio available, and I think this one is the match to the mp3.
His primary Good Idea is that disruptive innovation causes successful businesses to fail not because those businesses are poorly managed, but because they are well-managed under the current market conditions.
The best example of this is DEC, which was successful for years yet imploded under the management that made it successful. They dominated the minicomputer industry for years, and were killed by technological innovation of the same sort that they used to muscle into territory formerly held by IBM. Clayton's summary of the management decision is that they had a choice: improve and introduce existing products that make 50% margins and sell for $200,000 while increasing margins and prices, or turn to lower-end products (PCs) that have 20% margins and sell for $5000 with decreasing margins and decreasing prices.
Short excerpt from chapter one of the book:
I've made my way through portions of the book and will probably finish some time soon. The lecture summarizes his basic concepts and might save you a read if you don't want to clutter your brain with lots of detail.
This book began by posing a puzzle: Why was it that firms that could be esteemed as aggressive, innovative, customer-sensitive organizations could ignore or attend belatedly to technological innovations with enormous strategic importance? In the context of the preceding analysis of the disk drive industry, this question can be sharpened considerably. The established firms were, in fact, aggressive, innovative, and customer-sensitive in their approaches to sustaining innovations of every sort. But the problem established firms seem unable to confront successfully is that of downward vision and mobility, in terms of the trajectory map. Finding new applications and markets for these new products seems to be a capability that each of these firms exhibited once, upon entry, and then apparently lost.
I should also point out that IT conversations is an incredible resource. Doug offers the equivalent of free attendance at some of the best annual technology conferences around. I spend a lot of time listening.
Posted by Mark Wednesday, December 01, 2004 10:00:00 PM |