By Susan Adams, Forbes
Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, 64, is best known for his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma, which introduced the concept of “disruptive innovation.” He explained how cheaper, simpler or unexpected products and services can bring down big companies like U.S. Steel, Xerox and Digital Equipment. He runs a nonprofit think tank, Clayton Christensen Institute, and he cofounded both a consulting firm, Innosight, and a hedge fund, Rose Park Advisors. His new book, Competing Against Luck, introduces the “Jobs to Be Done” theory, a way for companies to stave off competition from disruptive products and services.
In this interview, which has been condensed and edited, he describes his new theory and explains what was missing from his ideas about disruptive innovation. He co-authored Competing Against Luck with Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David S. Duncan.