My Experiences in BUS 358: Innovation, Design, and Prototyping

Essay 5

The Rules of Innovation

Clayton Christensen

  • Important variables that affect the probability of success in innovations
      • Taking root in disruption, necessary scope to succeed, leveraging the right capabilities, and disrupting competitors (not customers)
    • Taking Root in Disruption
      • Companies stumble because they are well managed, not because they are poorly managed
      • Leading companies are likely to topple when disruptive technologies emerged
      • Disruptive innovations don’t initially perform well for mainstream markets but they are simple, convenient, or low cost and appeal to a new set of customers who use them in new (or low-end) applications
      • Taking root in disruption is the first condition for innovators to meet to improve the probability of successfully creating a new-growth business.
        • Two Tests to assess if a market can be disrupted
          • 1. Does the innovation enable more than previously possible? 2. Does it target a “new” group than before?
    • Pick the Scope Needed to Succeed
      • “Degree of Integration”
    • Leverage the Right Capabilities
      • Determine innovation limits: Do I have what I need? Will my organization’s processes succeed in this effort? Will the values allow employees to innovate here?
      • Technology, managers, money.
      • “Many innovations fail because managers do not know what they do now know as they make and implement their plans.”
      • Discover what customers find useful; avoid deep pockets and too much patience. “Innovators should be patient about the new venture’s size but impatient for profits.”
    • Disrupt Competitors, Not Customers
      • Minimize need for customers to reorder their lives
      • Help customers do things more simply and conveniently (watch them to learn)
      • “Don’t assume that what customers say they want to do is what they would do”

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