Clay Christensen Interview

Business Week interviews the author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma” on the 10th anniversary of the book’s publication.

The book’s themethat good management is no guard against the disruptive power of new entrants who go after new customer groups or low-end marketsremains important today. “More than ever it has become shorthand for a classic problem,” says Patrick Whitney, director of the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. “People never have to explain it, they just mention Clayton’s name or The Innovator’s Dilemma and everyone gets what the problem is.”

Ten years later, however, the innovation landscape is rather different. Globalization has exponentially expanded where threats lie. Design thinking and its focus on the customer has captured the minds of managers. And as chief executives increasingly look to reinvent their business models, innovation is no longer defined in terms of mere technological breakthroughs. So how relevant is a book that chronicles the upending of the disk drive, steel, and earth excavator industries?

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.