Disruptive Innovation vs Incremental Innovation

File under:
Design Leadership


Written by Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Nov 01, 2012


1 Cool Comment


Other than the fact that disruptive innovation creates jobs and incremental (efficiency) innovation destroys them, Clayton Christensen, the guru of disruptive innovation (a must read by the way!) said:

…that many businesses and startups often make a mistake here, one that may, at first glance, appear counterintuitive. “Understanding the customer is the wrong thing to do — it’s confusing,” he said, before citing Peter Drucker’s assertion that customers rarely buy what companies think they are selling.

Instead, what’s really important is understanding the job that customers are trying to accomplish, and only once an entrepreneur truly understands the need that a product or service fulfills for the buyer can they optimize their business or product. He used IKEA as an example of a company that has been around for 30-odd years and by now probably should have been disrupted. Yet no one has managed to copy them and improve on the model. That’s because, Christensen says, of its true understanding of the job that their customers want to do: “I want to furnish this place today.” Once they understood that, simple as it may be, they optimized their entire store flow, their shopping experience around that.

So Disruptive Innovation is not about improving what your customer is doing, but more about understanding your customer’s objective and what he or she is trying to accomplish. Disruptive innovation then comes from applying this understanding in a mainstream manner by creating products that are affordable and usable, without necessary being the best (i.e. iPhone 1 etc.) in the market.

In many ways, the statement that Design “makes meaning” would be appropriate right now. When you can understand what your customer is trying to achieve, you can give meaning to the solutions, products, and services you are creating.

Via: TechCrunch






Love this post? Subscribe to The Design Sojourn Newsletter, for free, and get the latest content delivered right to your inbox with our 110% NO-SPAM Policy!

You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook as well.





Related Posts You Might Find Interesting:


Comments

Cris Ehmann
Apr 16, 14 – 9:35 pm

Unfortunately I have to disagree here. Clayton Christensen has never claimed that disruptive innovation is about ‘improving what your customer is doing, but more about understanding your customer’s objective and what he or she is trying to accomplish’ As opposed to this statement, Clayton Christensen claims in his book ‘The innovator’s dilemma’ that a disruptive innovation causes the cessation of an already established value network. The cessation of an established value network has nothing to do with understanding a customer’s objective.


A note about commenting: We value your comments as they provide different perspectives that we can learn from and/or improve our products as we see this blog as a platform for interaction and exchange with our friends. However, whilst we welcome constructive criticism, we do not tolerate offensive and disrespectful comments. Postings deemed inappropriate will be removed.

Finally, to avoid auto deletion from spam filtering, we kindly ask that you use your personal name or initials instead of your business name. Thank you and I hope you enjoy being part of the design conversation!