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am 21. März 1998
If you only read one chapter, just read the last chapter on the case of electrical car. Then you can handle the main idea of the book immediately.
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am 27. Juli 1998
A thoroughly readable and enjoyable book with the author bringing new insight into an extensively researched area.
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am 9. Mai 2000
This book takes a radical position that great companies can fail precisely because they excel at the commonly accepted practice of good management. And it shows companies how they can avoid that fate.
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am 8. Juli 1999
Finally a book that gives an explanation for why substantial innovations that change market structures often come from outsiders and not the successful established big players of an industry. The author provides examples from very different industries to illustrate why the most successful companies with excellent management capabilities often fail to recognize new market developments and get outrun by small startups, who were able to develop a so-called "disruptive technology" that will make the established one obsolete.
In the first part of his book, the author gives a vast amount of examples (most of them from the disk drive industry) of how well-run established companies failed when confronted with disruptive innovations. He explains how companies get caught in their value networks and unconsciously continue to improve their technologies until they exceed market demand. He shows why only small startups can break into this system.
In the second part of the book, he consequently suggests strategies to cope with disruptive technological change. He goes into finding new markets, developing small organizations for the initially small demand of these new technologies and gives hints on how to discover emerging disruptive technologies. He ends with a very interesting case study summarizing and illustrating the findings of the book.
All in all this book is fun to read and leaves the reader with the sensation of "this is so clear, I feel like I've always known it - then why didn't I come up with the idea?" Probably the book gives an explanation for this as well: because I was caught in the traditional thinking of innovation management and how to develop better new products faster. This book combines insights of many scientists to a consistent system of "how it works" - a MUST for anybody interested in innovation!
- By the way: this book explains a lot about how Electronic Commerce has and will develop, and which companies will be successful in dealing with it... worth thinking about!!! (Dies ist eine Amazon.de an der Uni-Studentenrezension.)
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am 15. März 1999
Professor Christensen is a Boston Consulting Group alum, as am I, and that firm has been very interested in the question of why dominant firms lose out to new entrants featuring innovative technologies. Professor Christensen has written the best work on this subject that it has been my pleasure to read. Unlike most academics, he is rigorous without being dull or irrelevant to those who must operate businesses. I particularly found his exploration of the differences between a sustaining and a disruptive technology to be very useful. His insights into how accounting and financial concerns can "stall" organizational progress were also valuable. From the perspective of an organization seeking a 2,000 percent solution (a way to get 20 times the results with the same resources or the same results 20 times faster), his cases (especially the hard disk ones) accurately capture many of the classic "stalls" that delay organizational progress. For example, tradition says that everyone focuses on serving the current customers. That's where the bread and butter are. Also, the overhead structure is established to serve those current needs. Both perspectives no longer serve when a disruptive technology is involved, and he persuasively argues that being first with disruptive technologies is very important. Bureaucracy comes into play because the authorization process requires a lot of confidence by those who will bet their careers that the market and financial projections will be achieved. The bureaucracy also increases the likelihood that an error will be made, or an unnecessary delay will occur. Disbelief comes from the tendency to misdefine who the customers will be and to underestimate the long-term potential of the technology. Professor Christensen puts in some nice technology development/time charts in to show how to better anticipate a new technology expanding from a lower need-defined market into the mainstream market. Misconception comes in because people misunderstand the danger of the disruptive technology, and how to manage it. THE INNOVATOR'S DILEMMA is very hepful here because it provides a model of best practices to cure the misconception stall here. Three other stalls are often important: Procrastination (delaying when delay is costly); Ugly Ducklings (avoiding what is unattractive, physically or financially); and Communications (not getting the message or not understanding the message). I suspect all 3 play a big role in the cases here, but I could not tell from the way the cases were written. I hope in his future work, Professor Christensen will also tie his thinking into the idea of innovation itself. I personally favor an 8 step process. One, measure everything you can in an area to understand how the measurements can help you improve. Two, apply the same approach to your most important activities. Be sure to consider how and why noncustomers do not find your offerings appealing. Three, seek out the best practices in other industries in these important activities, and estimate where these best practices will be in five years. Four, assemble a new combination of best practices from these cases that goes beyond what any one company will be doing in five years. Five, imagine the best that anyone will ever be able to do, ever, as the ideal best practice. In the case of disruptive technologies this would involve spotting them well in advance and being able to pursue them without pain to the rest of the organization, and pursuing very rapid adoption that leads to dominating the new marketplace. The analogy of slime mold may fit here (slime mold can come together to form new combinations that can move to locations where the food is better, and also to make spores that attach to animals and are carried to new locations where food may also be better). Six, find ways to approach the ideal best practice. Seventh, put the best people, resources, and incentives together to create great success in exceeding the future best practice and approaching the ideal best practice. Eight, repeat steps one through seven. You will build on success and greater experience with the process in that way. Teach the process to one person a month, and keep expanding it that way, and soon your whole organization will have this ability to innovate. Think about it. Do buy, read, and apply the lessons of THE INNOVATOR'S DILEMMA. This is pure gold. Also, send Professor Christensen a friendly note to encourage him to do more studies like this one on innovation. He deserves our support. I read Dr. Grove's comments about this work in the various business publications, and the threat to Intel from the Internet and simpler Web devices. I wonder if he really gets Professor Christensen's point: Intel would probably have to set up competing organizations to try to obsolete itself if these truly are disruptive technologies -- which they seem to be. Time will tell.
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am 9. März 2000
This book is a MUST READ. Unlike many business books in which ideas come out of thin air, this one is grounded in rock solid research. If you get this book, make sure you also read the author's article in the March 2000 Harvard Business Review. Key Lesson of this book: The most unexpected sources of trouble a perfect customer centric company are precisely those customer-centric mentalities. Every page of this book is worth the twenty something dollars. If you miss reading this one, you are missing out on some of the fundamental ideas that will shape the new economy. Beg, borrow (from your library), or steal...but do read this one! The last few pages are however filled with numerous statistics that do not necessarily fit in a more practioner oriented book like this.
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am 28. August 1999
Christensen has re-observed that mature companies have difficultly dealing with the low end of their market. Because of my personal experience my comments are limited to his analysis of the disk drive industry. He force fits his observations to his therory; in my opinion his observations have little connection with the industry's real history. In one sense his theory fails the Occam razor test; a much simpler theory is raised in "Capital Market Myopia," a Havard Business School paper which notes that in the 80's the Capital market funded too many companies - 80 or so companies all of whom expected 20% market share. Each plan by itself made sense and was fundable, but the totality was doomed to massive failure. I can't comment on his other examples, but if his rigor is consistent, then I suspect his history is equally flawed. In the end, what is so novel about the observation that large companies have difficultly dealing with the low end of their market - that's the automobile story in compacts; IBM's story in minicomputers, etc.? Save your money!
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am 25. Mai 2000
This book was as compelling to read as a college quantitative analysis text. If you are interested in a narrative account of the evolution of the information system industry this is probably not the book for you. But if you yearn for those undergrad and post graduate days and nights spent plowing through business case studies, complete with mind bending graphs and mystifying charts, by all means bring this book with you on your summer vacation.
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am 25. Mai 1999
Haven't finished reading the book yet because I can't!! The ideas good but there's too much about disk-drive industry. Author explains role of disruptive technologies and how and why successful organizations ignore them very well.
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am 21. Juni 1999
Well, if you are a horror fan of like Stephen King books you'll most probably LOVE this book. If you are anything but, this book is most definently NOT for you. That is my review.
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