The Innovator's Dilemma - Book Review

Innovator’s Dilemma Cover

This is the best book I have read about disruption. The biggest takeaway for me was that disruption of incumbent businesses is natural and inevitable. The reason disruption happens is that existing businesses have structural problems they cannot overcome. Those problems come naturally with scale. A big company over time has accumulated operational knowledge which helps it stay in the market. This accumulation and the incetives it creates for the existing leadership get in the way of innovation. No matter how much the incumbents want to change, they are just not able to do so within the constraings of the same business.

When I read this book, it was eye-opening for me. I have long had an interest in entrepreneurship, but most books about it are bad. They just repeat keywords, but fail to capture insights about how innovation happens or why entrepreneurs succeed. Clayton Christensen manages to capture insights that few others found. Not only that, but the book is full of real-world examples which do an amazing job to illustrate the point. Since reading it, I have witnessed many other examples in my work, proving his theory.

To be good, a book doesn’t just have to contain interesting ideas. It also needs to tell a story and create a memorable impression. This is why Christensen succeeds - his style and writing are accessible, interesting and human. I really enjoyed reading the Innovator’s Dilemma and it’s an exciting journey about disruption. I recommend it to anyone in business, even those who don’t think of themselves as entrepreneurs. Anyone who is interested in innovation.