In 1995, Harvard Business Professor Clay Christensen proposed the theory of disruptive innovation.
The theory defines the process through which a business enters its market at the bottom-end, only to eventually become a market leader through its innovative ideas and products. Once a business hits this stage, however, things turn sedentary, and it becomes obsessed with refining and delivering the next version of what is now a top-end product.
In response, a new company enters the market with innovative ideas and products that connect with consumers who can’t afford or aren’t interested in top-end products, and suddenly that old business finds itself displaced by the very process through which it rose to the top.
These new companies are the disruptors, and at a time when innovation is tantamount to survival in a radically changing business landscape, competition to be leaders of change is at an unprecedented high.
So how do you secure the future of your business?
The interview above with Harvard Business Review has the answers. In it, Christensen discusses the “innovator’s dilemma” that market leaders face, and how his ideas have helped innovators like Steve Jobs and Andy Grove stay relevant and dominant.