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Book Review: The Price of Innovation (and How to Handle it)

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When it comes to progress these days, we seem to have the accelerator pressed to the floor. Only 10 years ago, we still had landlines in our homes, we were watching cable TV, and companies like Uber, Snapchat, and Airbnb didn’t exist. When you needed a car, you called a taxi. When you wanted to watch a movie, you went to Blockbuster. When you needed a pair of shoes, you went to the mall. But the ever-increasing progress of technology has completely changed our day-to-day lives—and it doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon.

In fact, disruption and change is the name of the game in today’s business world and lack of innovation can be the kiss of death—no matter how successful the company.

So, how do companies manage all of this innovation—both externally and internally—without losing control? This is the question Clayton M. Christensen answers in his book The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change).

According to Christensen, even the best managed companies with proven track records of success can be destroyed by innovation, stating that "The list of leading companies that failed when confronted with disruptive changes in technology and market structure is a long one." The author then lists examples like Sears, IBM, and Xerox—once widely successful companies—that have been uprooted by innovation.

Throughout the book, Christensen provides readers with a framework on how to recognize potential innovation pitfalls and how to manage disruptive technology and change. It’s a much-needed how-to manual in a business world that refuses to slow down.

Top reviews of The Innovator’s Dilemma

 “Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma is the foundational read for managing disruptive innovation.” — Steve Blank, Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur and academician

“This is an important read, even if you’re at the very early stages of growing a startup.” — Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox

 “The Innovator’s Dilemma achieves a rare feat: It is at once a satisfying intellectual solution to a long-standing business puzzle and a practical guide for executives and investors.” — The Financial Times

For anyone who needs to manage and successfully navigate the waters of innovation, The Innovator’s Dilemma is a guide you’ll find yourself revisiting time and time again.  

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