Innovations Are Disruptive First Fulfilling An Under Served Market-
Illustration by Taylor Callery-
David Busse Insight: The article below on Disruptive Genius ought to get out to the VC, angel, and financial guys…..it has powerful clues on how to identify and appreciate the best emerging opportunities.
Excerpts: When he was 34 years old, Clayton Christensen started a company with a few MIT professors called Ceramics Process Systems Corporation. “I was the business guy,” he explains. “We were making new products out of advanced materials. In that market niche, we were the only ones to succeed: we beat DuPont, Alcoa, Hoechst. I could not explain this by our having smarter people. The other companies had smart owners and smart managers, too. How could smart people fail?
His doctoral thesis became the seminal 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma—a tremendously influential, best-selling volume that established Christensen as the architect of, and worldwide authority on, “disruptive innovation.” In 2011 The Economist named it one of the six most important business books ever written.
Cheaper, Simpler, Smaller
The theory of disruptive innovation lies at the core of his success. It grows from the distinction between sustaining technologies and disruptive ones. The former produce incremental improvements in the performance of established products: disk drives, for example, might offer faster speeds and greater memory storage. In contrast, disruptive technologies are “innovations that result in worse product performance, at least in the near term,” he wrote in The Innovator’s Dilemma. Yet, “Ironically…it was disruptive technology that precipitated the leading [disk-drive] firms’ failure.”
Original article goes more in depth and has several great insights on recognizing the nuances of disruptive innovation. Disruptive Genius really.