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Friday, August 27, 2004

Clayton Christensen explains disruptive & sustaining innovation Via Gartner

In the Gartner fellow interview, the reigning guru of innovation explains disruptive and sustaining innovation with well studied examples. Clayton christensen elegantly differentiates between these two forms of innovation, "Sustaining innovation is an innovation that brings to market a product or service that a company in the market could sell for higher margins to its best customers. In other words, sustaining innovation brings a better product into the market. Some sustaining innovations are simple, incremental, year-to-year improvements. Others are dramatic, breakthrough technologies the transition, in telecommunications, from analog to digital, and digital to optical. They were a real technological tour de force, but their affect on the service was to bring a better product into the existing market that could be sold for higher margins to the best customers of the leaders. The odds overwhelmingly favor the incumbent leaders of the industry in battles of sustaining innovation — whether they are simple, incremental innovations or breakthroughs. . A disruptive innovation brings to market a product not as good as the products in the current market, and so it cannot be sold to the mainstream customers. But it is simple and it is more affordable. It takes root in an undemanding portion of the market, then improves from that simple beginning to intercept with the needs of customers in the mainstream later.Examples of disruptive innovations - Minicomputers over Mainframes ,Blackberries, IPAQ against Laptop computers. This clayton christensen presentation , my favourite as well expands these ideas very well.
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