Big Bang Disruption: The New Innovator’s Dilemma

April 24, 2013 § 6 Comments

Every so often a new article appears that deserves to be captured more permanently than the latest Tweet or forgotten bookmark.  When these appear I intend to immortalize them here in this blog for much easier future reference.  Big Bang Disruption is one of thee articles.   Printed in the March 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review’s “The Magazine”, I’ve summarized it below as well as providing the full article.

— Clayton Christensen’s 1995 HBR Article and 1997 Classic Book has a blind spot.

— Entire product lines can now be wiped out overnight.

— Disrupters can come out of nowhere and be instantly everywhere

— Many times these “Big Bang Disrupters” are unintentional and unplanned.

–Three devastating features of Big Bang Disrupters

  1. Unencumbered development
  2. Unconstrained Growth
  3. Undisciplined Strategy

–Hackathons as examples of “hourly development”.  Experimentation of commodity technology is easy.

— It’s like a giant game of Battleship as innovative failures are raining down around you.  Soon, one of the new big bang innovations will hit.

— Mobile + Cloud is the big game changer.  Undisciplined Strategy.  Fire – Aim – Ready

— Truth Tellers are the key to survival.  Find one now.

Old-style disruption posed the innovator’s dilemma. Big-bang disruption is the innovator’s disaster. And it will be keeping executives in every industry in a cold sweat for a long time to come.The impact of big-bang disrupters is certainly amplified for technology- and information-intensive businesses, but most industries are at risk.

Big Bang Disruption

Harvard Business Review – Article

by Larry Downes and Paul F. Nunes

By now any well-read executive knows the basic playbook for saving a business from disruptive innovation. Nearly two decades of management research, beginning with Joseph L. Bower and Clayton M. Christensen’s 1995 HBR article, “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave,” have taught businesses to be on the lookout for upstarts that offer cheap substitutes to their products, capture new, low-end customers, and then gradually move upmarket to pick off higher-end customers, too. When these disrupters appear, we’ve learned, it’s time to act quickly—either acquiring them or incubating a competing business that embraces their new technology.

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