Clay Christensen Disrupts Innovation, Again

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Disruptive innovation guru Clay Christensen on disruption now, from politics to Uber.

A self driving Uber car drives down River Road on Pittsburgh's Northside. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
A self driving Uber car drives down River Road on Pittsburgh's Northside. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Disruption has been the word of the new millennium and more now. In business, economics, politics, society. My guest, Clayton Christensen, put the word in big play in the heady 1990s, when he first wrote about “disruptive innovation.” He was talking business. Now the meme is everywhere. Not everyone likes it. He’s got new thinking on it. This hour On Point, Clay Christensen on disruptive innovation, and what needs doing, changing now. — Tom Ashbrook


Clay Christensen, professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School. Co-author, with Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall and David Duncan, of "Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice ." Also author of "The Innovator's Dilemma." Founder of the Clayton Christansen Institute. (@claychristensen)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Clayton Christensen Has a New Theory — "In one consulting job for a fast-food chain, Prof. Christensen’s colleagues spent a day observing and interviewing customers. They discovered that a surprising number of them came in alone and purchased milkshakes to take along for their morning commutes. Their surveys suggested that people weren’t just looking to buy a beverage; they wanted something to keep them occupied during their drive. Milkshakes are easy to hold and consume (no unwrapping required) and last a long time, adding to their appeal."

Vox: Here's the best case that software is about to disrupt education -- "Can computers and the internet transform the education industry? For decades, teachers, principals, and technologists have looked for ways to use computers to enhance the educational experience, with little to show for it."

TechCrunch: Why Clayton Christensen Is Wrong About Uber And Disruptive Innovation — "It isn’t surprising that the theory works well for linear businesses, as it was originally based on Christensen’s research into shifts into linear companies such as disk-drive manufacturers and steel mills. Almost all the businesses in his original HBR article and in his books are linear businesses, as well. But when it comes to platform businesses like Uber and Apple, disruption theory breaks down."

Read An Excerpt Of "Competing Against Luck" By Clay Christensen

This program aired on October 12, 2016.


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