Ideas From Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma

In this 1 minute PAREable, discover how companies can do everything right and still lose their market leadership.

Actionable Do:

  • Have two innovation incubation models for an established firm.
  • Observe how customers are actually using the product.
  • Have discovery driven planning that is adaptable to various factors of change.
  • Be creative at finding the right customers/market who can directly benefit from your innovation than a large, less targeted market.
  • Expect trial and error, so a new organization can fail early and without great expense.

Actionable Don’t:

  • Don’t develop products and services based on what customers say they would like.
  • Don’t innovate in a singular quality, i.e., performance oversupply. What does innovation look like in functionality, reliability, convenience, and price?


  • Established and entrant firms bring different types of innovations to market.
  • Established firms bring sustaining innovations to maintain market positions and profit margins.
  • However, they still lose market dominance because of their focus on sustaining profits while ignoring new markets brought by disruptive technologies.
  • Knowing what the customers want through surveys, focus groups, and interviews is good at incremental improvement, not effective at creating the next thing.
  • Tunnel vision chasing of profit margin should be moderated with long term expectations.
  • The difficulty of predicting emerging markets means an established company can’t justify the investment. Thus, they usually miss out on disruptive technologies and the emerging market that comes with it.
  • Sometimes, firms are just too inflexible with its RPV (Resources/Processes/Values) framework to adapt to changing conditions.
  • Theoretical models for innovation rarely work in the real world.
  • Disruptive innovations are usually variations on existing technologies that open up a new customer base.
  • The best way for an established company to take advantage of a disruptive technology is to create or acquire an organization that is small enough with flexible processes.

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Don’t just take my words, check out his book.

Until the next PAREable..

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