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Book Summary — Innovator’s Solution

Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth


Once growth had stalled, in other words, it proved nearly impossible to restart it.

How to Beat Competitors

But disruptive technologies offer other benefits — typically, they are simpler, more convenient, and less expensive products that appeal to new or less-demanding customers.

They are always motivated to go up-market, and almost never motivated to defend the new or low-end markets that the disruptors find attractive. We call this phenomenon asymmetric motivation.

  1. Is there a large population of people who historically have not had the money, equipment, or skill to do this thing for themselves, and as a result have gone without it altogether or have needed to pay someone with more expertise to do it for them?
  2. To use the product or service, do customers need to go to an inconvenient, centralized location?

What products will customers buy?

Who are the best customers for your products?

  1. The target customers are trying to get a job done, but because they lack the money or skill, a simple, inexpensive solution has been beyond reach.
  2. These customers will compare the disruptive product to having nothing at all. As a result, they are delighted to buy it even though it may not be as good as other products available at high prices to current users with deeper expertise in the original value network. The performance hurdle required to delight such new-market customers is quite modest.
  3. The technology that enables the disruption might be quite sophisticated, but disruptors deploy it to make the purchase and use of the product simple, convenient, and foolproof. It is the “foolproofedness” that creates new growth by enabling people with less money and training to begin consuming.
  4. The disruptive innovation creates a whole new value network. The new consumers typically purchase the product through new channels and use the product in new venues.

Getting the Scope of the Business Right

“What do we need to master today, and what will we need to master in the future, in order to excel on the trajectory of improvement that customers will define as important?”

How to avoid Commoditization

Can you disrupt?

  1. Are the processes by which work habitually gets done in the organization appropriate for this new project?
  2. And will the values of the organization give this initiative the priority it needs?

Managing the Strategy Development Process

  1. The first is to manage the cost structure, or values of the organization, so that orders of disruptive products from ideal customers can be prioritized.
  2. The second is discovery-driven planning — a disciplined process that accelerates learning what will and won’t work.
  3. The third is to vigilantly ensure that deliberate and emergent strategy processes are being followed in the appropriate circumstances for each business in the corporation.

Good Money and Bad Money

The role of Senior Execs

  1. First, they must actively coordinate action and decisions when no processes exist to do the coordination.
  2. Second, they must break the grip of established processes when a team is confronted with new tasks that require new patterns of communication, coordination and decision making.
  3. Third, when recurrent activities and decisions emerge in an organization, executives must create processes to reliably guide and coordinate the work of employees involved.
  4. And fourth, because recurrent cultivation of new disruptive growth businesses entails the building and maintenance of multiple simultaneous processes and business models within the corporation, senior executives need to stand astride the interfaces of those organizations — to ensure that useful learning from the new growth businesses flows back into the mainstream, and to ensure that the right resources, processes, and values are always being applied in the right situation.

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Goal: Read and summarise one book a week

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