The Innovator’s Dilemma

I can easily describe this book as a PhD paper, because of the researches and efforts made to achieve it. The book describes how innovation can determine the fate of a company.

From the disk drive industry to the automotive and steel companies, the in depth research teach how great companies can fail at bringing a great product on the market, always simply because they focus on their main customers where the disruptive innovation is not needed at all (Apple Newton).

Disruptive innovation imply most of the time a redefinition of the company’s value network, which impact the management, teams, market range, margins and final customers. Take a look at the more recent “Value Proposition Design” book, both are working well together!


  • Always start low. It is easier to move to lower margin, lower costs, lower end markets than the contrary. Many innovators began by addressing these lower markets (most of the time unaddressed), and fighting their way to upper markets.
  • Even well managed teams and companies can fail when it comes to innovation.
  • Splitting mainstream activities and innovation, even making them concur against each other is a -rewarding- good idea.
  • Experts’ forecast will always be wrong, when it comes to disruptive technologies. Because there is no existing model, no existing forecast, and you don’t know yet what could be the market.
  • Prototype, update and fail fast on your new unknown market, make your product modular and adaptable. Better to do so while the scale still very small.