Saturday, October 20, 2007

From the Innovator's Dilemma

One of the most interesting and relevant books that I have read so far is the triology, starting with "The Innovator's Dilemma". I often read the book(s) to remind myself about complacency, stagnancy, comfort that is being developed, the success trap ... of many companies in industry that I work in, or of companies in adjacent industry ... or of companies, which are in their most glorious days today. Or, I often observe these companies and their moves to understand their response to the disruptive technologies or their preparedness for the same.

A glaring example of a flourishing industry that saw the death of many of its leading firms, as explained in the book is that of Disk-Drive industry. I am sure, you got the point. However, the author's explaination on how he chose this industry as an example to prove his theory of "How Can Great Firms Fail" is equally exemplary. In author's own words:

"When I began my search for an answer to the puzzle of why the best firm can fail, a friend offered some sage advice. 'Those who study genetics avoid studying humans,' he noted. 'Because new generations come along only every thirty years or so, it takes a long time to understand this cause and effect of any changes. instead they study fruit flies, because ther are conceived, born, mature and dies all within a single day. If you want to understand why something happens in business, study the disk drive industry. Those companies are the closest things to fruit flies that the business world will ever see.' "

Disruptive changes in the Disk Drive technology defined a whole new paradigm of performance. And the adopters of these technological changes were the new entrants into the market and not the incumbent leaders - engrossed in listening to their customers and engulfed in success trap.

Interesting ...

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