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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Innovation in trying times

GM Chevy Volt
GM Chevy Volt by stevegarfield, on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA

Cory Bergman writes:
I re-read Clayton Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Dilemma” (1997) over the last few days, and I’ve concluded he should write a new edition of the book that uses newspapers instead of disk drives as his central case study. Christensen found in his research that time and time again, disk drive companies were made aware of radical new innovations — there were even prototypes built — but chose to ignore them. Why? Because these innovations were disruptive and generated “no value within the established network.” In other words, if you take the disruptive idea and try to make it work inside a company’s existing cost structure, customers, resources, processes and culture, it would be a failure. So instead, these companies focus on incremental innovations and startups are able to take the disruptive ideas and run with them.
Detroit should read the book too.

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