Derek Sivers
The Innovator's Solution - by Clayton Christensen

The Innovator's Solution - by Clayton Christensen

ISBN: 1578518520
Date read: 2006-09-21
How strongly I recommend it: 8/10
(See my list of 360+ books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

Required reading for business-owners and investors. Shows how technology improves faster than people's ability to use it, so when someone says a technology is “not good enough”, add “yet” and prepare for disruption.

my notes

Starting with a cost structure in which attractive profits can be earned at low price points and which can be carried up-market
Being in a disruptive position relative to competitors so that they are motivated to flee rather than fight
Starting with a set of customers who had been nonconsumers so that they are pleased with modest products
Targeting a job that customers are trying to get done
Skating to where the money will be, not to where it was
Assigning managers who have taken the right courses in the school of experience and putting them to work within processes and organizational values that are attuned to what needs to be done
Having the flexibility to respond as a viable strategy emerges
Starting with capital that can be patient for growth


The Innovators Dilemma identified two distinct categories - sustaining and disruptive - based on the circumstances of innovation.

In sustaining circumstances - when the race entails making better products that can be sold for more money to attractive customers - we found that incumbents almost always prevail.

In disruptive circumstances - when the challenge is to commercialize a simpler more convenient product for less money and appeals to a new or unattractive customer set - the entrants are likely to beat the incumbents.

This is the phenomenon that so frequently defeats successful companies. It implies that the best way for upstarts to attack established competitors is to disrupt them.

A sustaining innovation targets demanding high-end customers with better performance than what was previously available. Sometimes incremental improvements. Sometimes breakthrough leapfrog-over-competition. But the established competitors almost always win the battles of sustaining technology.

Disruptive innovations introduce products and services that are not as good as currently available products. Other benefits, though : simpler, more convenient, less expensive - that appeal to new or less-demanding customers.

Once the disruptive product gains a foothold in new or low-end markets, the improvement cycle begins. Because of the pace of technology is faster than customers' ability to use it, the previously not-good-enough technology improves enough to intersect with the path of the more demanding customers.

Disrupting has a paralyzing effect on industry leaders. They are always motivated to go up-market, almost never motivated to defend the new or low-end markets that the disruptors find attractive.

Leaders are so much easier to beat if the idea for a new product or business is shaped into a disruption.

Shaping a business idea into a disruption is an effective strategy for beating an established competitor. It's much easier to beat competitors when they are motivated to flee rather than fight.

Sustaining innovations are so attractive and important that the best sustaining companies systematically ignore disruptive threats and opportunities until the game is over.

Entrepreneurs who have entered on a sustaining trajectory should turn around and sell out to one of the industry leaders behind them. If executed succesfully, getting ahead of the leaders on the sustaining curve and then selling quickly can be a straightforward way to make an attractive financial return.

If you create and attempt to sell a better product into an established market to capture established competitors' best customers, the competitors will be motivated to fight rather than flee.

If your idea might represent a sustaining improvement for others, then you should go back to the drawing board. You need to define an opportunity that is disruptive relative to ALL the established players.

When a company tries to take a higher-cost business model down-market to sell products at lower price points, almost none of the incremental revenue will fall to its bottom line. Established firms that hope to capture the growth created by disruption need to do so from within an autonomous business with a cost structure that offers as much headroom as possible for subsequent profitable migration up-market.

To create a new-growth business : target products and markets that the established companies are motivated to ignore or run away from.

New customers who previously lacked the money or skills to buy and use the product. Enable a whole new population of people to begin owning and using the product.

Low-end disruptions attack the least-profitable and most overserved customers.

Incumbent leaders feel no pain and little threat until the disruption is in its final stages. When disruptors begin pulling customers out of the low end, it actually feels good to the leading firms.

Wal-mart : Customers were overserved, did not need well-trained floor salespeople to help them get what they needed.

Acceptable profit through a different formula.

Many disruptions : Southwest Airlines appealed to people who couldn't afford to fly, and those that were overserved by other airlines.



Ideas that get shaped into sustaining innovations could just as easily be shaped into disruptive business plans, with far greater growth potential.

Execs must answer three sets of questions, to determine whether an idea has disruptive potential.

Are there lots of people who have not had the money, equipment or skill to do this for themselves, and have gone without it altogether, or have needed to pay someone with more expertise to do it for them?
To use the product or service, do customers need to go to an inconvenient centralized location?

Are there customers at the low-end of the market who would be happy to purchase a product with less, but good enough, performance if they could get it at a lower price?
Can we create a business model that enables us to earn attractive profits at the discount prices required to win the business of these overserved customers at the low end?

Is the innovation disruptive to *all* of the significant incumbent firms? If it appears to be sustaining to one ore more significant players, the odds will be stacked in that firm's favor, and entrant is unlikely to win.


Disruption is a theory : a conceptual model of cause and effect that makes it possible to better predict the outcomes of competitive battles in different circumstances. These forces almost always topple industry leaders when an attacker has harnessed them because disruptive strategies are predicated on competitors doing what is in their best and most urgent interest : satisfying their most important customers and investing where profits are most attractive. In a profit-seeking world, this is a safe bet.


Customers "hire" products to do specific "jobs".

Segmenting markets according to the jobs the customers are trying to get done addresses other important marketing challenges such as brand management.

Customers - people and companies - have "jobs" that arise regularly and need to get done. When customers become aware of a job that they need to get done in their lives, they look around for a product or service that they can "hire" to get the job done.

Effectively, conveniently, inexpensively as possible.


Successful innovations will emerge from companies who carve disruptive footholds by targeting nonconsumption and moving up-market with better products only after they have started simple and small.

#1 - The target customers are trying to get a job done, but because they lack the money or skill, a simple inexpensive solution has been beyond reach.
#2 - These customers will compare the disruptive product to having nothing at all. As a result, they are delighted to buy it even though it may not be as good as other products available at high prices to current users with deeper expertise in the original value network. The performance hurdle required to delight such new-market customers is quite modest.
#3 - The technology that enables the disruption might be quite sophisticated, but disruptors deploy it to make the purchase and use of the product simple, convenient, and foolproof. It's this foolproof aspect that creates new growth by enabling people with less money and training to begin consuming.
#4 - The disruptive innovation creates a whole new value network. The new consumers typically purchase the product through new channels and use the product in new venues.

Established competitors view the entrants into the emerging network as irrelevant.

Incumbents have the wrong response : they invest massive sums trying to advance the technology enough to please the customers in the existing value network.

If you frame a phenomenon as a threat, it gets a more intense and energetic response than if you frame it as an opportunity. Response to threat is "threat rigidity" : you cease being flexible, become "command and control" oriented, and focus everything on countering the threat in order to survive.

Best way to use this to your advantage in corporate land : Get top-level commitment by framing something as a threat, then shift responsibility to an autonomous organization that can frame it as an opportunity.

It is foolish to give salespeople a financial incentive to push disruptive products. Disruptive products require disruptive channels.


The problem with making decisions based on your core competence : What might seem to be a noncore activity today might become an absolutely critical competence to have mastered in a proprietary way in the future, and vice-versa.

IBM, for example : in the process of outsourcing what it didn't feel was its core (the O.S. and the CPU) : it put into business two companies (Microsoft and Intel) that captured a majority of the profits for years.

Instead of asking what their company does best today, managers should ask, "What do we need to master today, and what will we need to master in the future, in order to excel on the trajectory of improvement that customers will define as important?"

The standardization inherent in modularity takes too many degress of design freedom away from engineers.

One sign that the functionality and reliability of a product have become too good is that employees say, "Why can't they see that our product is better than the competition? They're treating it like a commodity!" This is evidence of overshooting.

Modular architectures help companies to compete on the dimensions that matter in the lower right portions of the disruption diagram. Companies can introduce new products faster because they can upgrade individual subsystems without having to redesign everything.

In a modular world, you can prosper by outsourcing or by supplying just one element.

Customers become less and less willing to reward further improvements in functionality and reliability with premium prices.

People cannot efficiently resolve interdependent problems while working at arm's length across organizational boundary.


Commoditization : whenever it is at work somewhere in a value chain, a reciprocal process of DE-commoditizatoion is at work somewhere else in the value chain.

De-commoditization affords opportunities : the locus of the ability to differentiate shifts continuously in a value chain.

Companies who position themselves at a spot in the value chain where performance is not yet good enough will capture the profit.

Wayne Gretzky slogan : don't go where the money presently is, but to where the money will be.

Companies that are the most successful are integrated companies that design and assemble the not-good-enough end-use products.

Making highly differentiable products with strong cost advantages is a license to print money.

Customers will not pay still-higher prices for products they already deem too good. Before long, modularity rules, and commoditization sets in. When the relevant dimensions of your product's performance are determined not by you but by the subsystems, it becomes difficult to earn anything more than substinence returns. When your world becomes modular, you'll need to look elsewhere in the value chain to make any serious money.

A company that finds itself in a more-than-good-enough circumstance can't win. Either disruption will steal its markets or commoditiziation will steal its profits.

De-commodoitization occurs in places where attractive profits were hard to attain in the past : in the formerly modular and undifferentiable processes, components or subsystems.

Modular disruptors should carry their low-cost business models up-market as fast as possible, to keep competing at the margin against higher-cost markers of proprietary products. Find the best performance-defining components and subsystems, incorporating them in their products faster than anyone else.

Profit accumulated where products that were not yet good enough. Architectures therefore tended to be interdependent and proprietary.

What makes an industry appear to be attractively profitable is the circumstance in which its companies happen to be at a particular point in time.

IBM hard drives : skate to where the money would be, by using modularity to decouple its head and disk operations from its disk drive design and assembly business. Sell its most advanced heads and disks to competing 2.5" drive makers, it could de-emphasize the assembly of drives and focus on the more profitable head and disk.

On the more-than-good-enough side, a better strategy is to sell bullets to the combatants.

It didn't occur to the company's management that the activities they were outsourcing weren't the other company's core competencies, either! Whether or not something is a core competence is not the determining factor of who can skate to where the money will be.

For many suppliers, eating their way up the value chain creates opportunities to design subsystems with increasingly optimized internal architectures that become key performance drivers of the modular products that its customers assemble.

Core competence, as it is used by many managers, is a dangerously inward-looking notion. Competitiveness is far more about doing what customers value than doing what you think you're good at. Staying competitive as the basis of competition shifts necessarily requires a willingness and ability to learn new things rather than clinging hopefully to the past sources of glory. The challenge for incumbent companies is to rebuild their ships while at sea.

Knowing this is going to happen gives managers the opportunity to own or acquire and manage as separate growth-oriented businesses, the component or subsystem suppliers that are positioned to eat their way up the value chain. This is the essense of skating to where the money will be.

Brands are most valuable where things aren't yet good enough. When customers aren't yet certain whether a product's performance will be satisfactory. A well-crafted brand can step in and close the gap between what customers need and what they fear they might get if they buy the product from a supplier of unknown reptuation.

Good brands get price premium.

The ability of brands to command premium prices dissolves when the performance of a class of products from multiple suppliers is manifestly more than adequate.

Performance-defining subsystems within the product, or at the retail interface when it is the speed, simplicity, and convenience of getting exactly what you want that is not good enough.

The power to capture attractive profits will shift to those activities in the value chain where the immediate customer is not yet satisfied with the performance of available products.

The customer interface is the place in the value chain where the ability to excel on this new dimension of competition is determined. Companies that are integrated in a proprietary way across the interface to the customer can compete on these not-good-enough dimensions more effectively.


Three classes or sets of factors that define what an organization can and can not accomplish: RPV
(1) - resources
(2) - processes
(3) - values

Innumerable failed efforts - primarily caused by the wrong people chosen to lead the venture.
Right-stuff thinking ("this guy has the right stuff!") gets the categories wrong.
You encounter very different problems in starting up a new venture than in running a well-tuned one.

Failure and bouncing back from failure can be critical courses in the school of experience. Look for people willing and able to learn, doing things wrong and recovering from mistakes.

First step : predict the problems, challenges, situations that this new venture will be in. (A set of forseeable problems.)
From this, list the "courses" (lessons) you would want the team of managers of the new venture to have already learned.
Experiences through which they would have developed the intuition and skill to understand and manage this set of forseeable problems.
This list of experiences should constitute a "hiring specification" for the senior management team.
Rather than specifying a set of right-stuff attributes, specify the circumstances in which the new team will be asked to manage.

Example: "we would want a CEO who in the past had launched a venture thinking he/she had the right strategy, realized it wasn't working, then iterated towards a strategy that did work. We'd want a marketing exec who had insightfully figured out how a just-emerging market was structured, had helped to shape a new product and service package that did an important job well for customers who had been nonconsumers." etc

Organizations create value as employees transform inputs of resources (the work of people, equipment, technology, product designs, brands, information, energy, and cash) into products and services of greater worth.
The patterns through which they make these transformations are called processes.

Whether they are formal, informal, or cultural, processes define how an organization transforms inputs into things of greater value.

When the same, seemingly efficient process is employed to tackle a very different task, it often seems bureaucratic and inefficient.

Innovating managers often try to start new-growth businesses using processes that were designed to make the mainstream business run effectively. They succumb to this temptation because the new game begins before the old game ends.

It seems simpler to have a one-size-fits-all process for doing things, but VERY often the cause of a new venture's failure is that the wrong processes were used to build it.

Tough to judge whether the mainstream organization's processes will facilitate or impede a new-growth business. Ask whether the organization has faced simliar situations or tasks in the past.

If that organization has not repeatedly formulated plans for competing in markets that do not yet exist, it's safe to assume no processes for making such plans exist.

Values are the standards by which employees make prioritization decisions : whether an order is attractive, whether a particular customer is more important, which customers they will call on.

It's important for senior managers to train employees at every level to make prioritization decisions that are consistent with the strategic direction and business model of the company. Successful senior executives that spend so much time articulating clear, consistent values that are broadly understood throughout the organization.

Resources and processes are often enablers that define what an organization can do. Values often represent restraints : they define what an organization cannot do.

As companies upgrade, they often add overhead cost. Gross margins will seem unattractive at a later point.

As companies become large, they literally lose the capability to enter small emerging markets. Huge size makes a disability in creating new-growth businesses.

In the start-up stages, much of what gets done is attributable to its resources, that is : its people. Over time, the capabilities will shift towards processes and values.

When hot young companies flame-out, The founding team fails to institute the processes or values that came help the company follow-up with a sequence of hot new products.

As a new company's processes and values are coalescing, the actions and attitudes of the company's founder typically have a profound impact.

As successful companies mature, employees gradually come to assume that the priorities they have learned to accept, the ways of doing things, are the right way to work. Once members of the organization begin to adopt ways of working and criteria for making decisions by assumption, rather than conscious decision, those processes and values come to constitute the organization's culture.

Culture is powerful management tool.

When organization's capabilities lies many in people, changing to address new problems is simple. When they have become embedded in a culture, change can become extraordinarily difficult.

Disruptive innovations occur so intermittently that no company has a practiced process for handling them. Disruptions are inconsistent with the leading companies' values. Established companies have the resources (people, money, technology) required to succeed at disruptive, but their processes and values are disabilities in their efforts to succeed at disruptive innovation.

Ensure that responsibility for making the venture successful is given to an organization whose processes will facilitate what needs to be done and whose values and prioritize those activities.

If execs can stop using one-process- and one-organization-fits-all policies for all types of growth innovations, they can greatly improve the probabilities that their growth ventures will succeed.

What is disruptive to one company might have a sustaining impact on another.

Organizations cannot disrupt themselves.

If innovations are developed within the mainstream organization, the processes and values ensure that it can only implement sustaining innovations.

Processes and values can also be made or bought.

Identify managers who are able, here and now, to grapple succesfully with the challenges of building a new business. To develop managers for the future, organizations need to put up-and-coming managers into situations and responsibilities for which they are not yet qualified! It is the only way they can learn the skills required to succeed. You need to be creating successful businesses in order to have the right curriculum within your internal schools of experience in which next-gen managers can learn. Yet having capable managers in place is a prerequisite to building these growth businesses. Successfully wrestling with these dimensions if the innovator's dilemma is a critical responsibility of a director of human resources.

Potential should not be measured by attributes, but rather by the ability to acquire the attributes and skills needed : the ability to learn.

Avoid the trap of assuming that the finite list of competencies important for today are those that will be required in the future.

Look for "seeks opportunities to learn", "seeks and uses feedback", "asks the right questions", "looks at things from new perspectives", "learns from mistakes".

Those who are "ready now" are, by definition, the ones that have the least to learn by doing it.

A company that works to develop a sequence of new-growth businesses can build a virtuous cycle in management development. Launching growth businesses creates a set of rigorous demanding schools in which next-gen execs can learn how to lead disruption. Companies that only sporadically attempt to create new-growth businesses, in contrast, offer to their next-gen execs precious few of the courses they need to successfully sustain growth.

When there is a well-defined interface between the activities of two different people or groups - meaning that you can clearly specifiy what each is supposed to deliver, you can measure and verify what they deliver, and there are no unanticipated interdependencies between what one does and what the other must do in response - then those people and groups can interface at arm's length and need not be on the same team.

The reason an organization cannot disrupt itself is that successful organizations can only naturally prioritize innovations that promise improved profit margins relative to their current cost structure. For Schwab, for example, it was far more straightforward to create a new business model that could view $29 as a profitable proposition than it would have been to hack enough cost out of the original organization so that it could make money at the disruptive price point. This is the best way to change values, because the new disruptive game almost always must begin while the established business still has substantial profitable sustaining potential.

The disruptive business needs to have the freedom to create new processes. Judgement calls are a key role of the CEO.

Every time one company buys another, it buys its resources, processes, and values.


Though execs are obsessed with finding the right strategy, they can wield greater leverage by managing the process used to develop the strategy.

Deliberate strategies are the appropriate tool for organizing actions if three conditions are met:
(1) - the strategy must encompass and address correctly all of the important details required to succeed, and those responsible for implementation must understand each important detail in management's deliberate strategy.
(2) - if the organization is to take collective action, the strategy needs to make as much sense to all employees as they view the world from their own context as it does to top management, so they will act appropriately and consistently.
(3) - the collective intentions must be realized with little unanticipated influence from outside political, technological, or market forces.
Because it is so difficult to find a situation in which all three of these conditions apply, the emergent strategy-making process almost always alters the strategy that the company actually implements.

Emergent strategy bubbles up from within the organization - the cumulative effect of day-to-day prioritization and investment decisions. Tactical, day-to-day operation decisions made by people who are not in a visionary, futuristic or strategic state of mind.

EXAMPLES: Sam Walton's decision to build the 2nd Wal-Mart in another small town near his first one was just for logistical and managerial efficiency. Intel had "top performing gets top priority" process at the bottom ranks, and this process alone moved them from RAM into CPUs, without top execs hardly even noticing. ("Senior management recognized that Intel had become a microprocessor company")

Intel's remarkable strategy shift was not the result of an intended strategy articulated within the executive ranks. Rather it emerged through the daily decisions made by middle managers as they allocated resources.

Most of the ideas for developing new products, services, businesses bubble up from employees within the organization.

Emergent processes should dominate in circumstances in which the future is hard to read and in which it is not clear what the right strategy should be. This is almost always the case during the early phases of a company's life.

In 90% of all successful new businesses, the strategy that the founders had deliberately decided to pursue was not the strategy that ultimately led to the business's success. Entrepreneurs rarely get their strategies right the first time. The successful ones make it because they have money left over to try again after they learn their initial strategy was flawed, whereas the failed ones typically have spent their resources implementing a deliberate strategy before its viability could be known.

Learn from emergent sources what is working and what is not, then learn to cycle that learning back into the process through the deliberate channel.

Act before everything is fully understood. Respond to an evolving reality rather than having to focus on a stable fantasy.

Learning what works.

Failure often comes from implementing a deliberate strategy in the early stages when the right strategy cannot be known.

Efforts to catch new waves of disruptive growth need to be guided through emergent processes.

The mainstream business needs to be guided by deliberate strategy.

Many companies' execs perceived the need to allocate resources to disruptive growth before it's too late, but very rarely are they able to consistently manage the strategy development process appropriately across a range of businesses in various stages of maturity. After they have entered a deliberate strategy mode, they find it very difficult to let new businesses be guided through an emergent process.

EXAMPLE: Prodigy in 1992 noticed that their 2 million subscribers were spending more time on email than web. They had planned on being a web company so they started charging extra fees for sending more than 30 emails per month! Rather than seeing email as an emergent strategy signal, the company tried to filter it out, because in deliberate mode, management's job was to implement the original strategy.

EXAMPLE: Handheld computers. Apple Newton, HP. All failed. Palm, who made the O.S., succeeed. What was the mistake? The computer companies employed deliberate strategy processes from beginning to end. Invested massively to implement their strategies, then wrote the projects off when the strategies proved wrong. Palm was the only one that shifted to an emergent strategy process when its original delibrate strategy failed. When a viable strategy emerged, Palm shifted back to a deliberate process as it migrated up-market.

Managers must:
(1) - Carefully control the initial cost structure of a new-growth business because this will quickly determine the values that will drive the critical resource allocation decisions in that business.
(2) - Actively accelerate the process by which a viable strategy emerges by ensuring that business plans are designed to test and confirm critical assumptions using tools such as discovery-driven planning.
(3) - Personally and repeatedly intervene, business by business, exercising judgement about whether the circumstance is such that the business needs to follow an emergent or deliberate strategy-making process. CEOs must not leave the choice about strategy process to policy, habit, or culture.

Execs need to pay careful attention to getting the initial conditions right. New ventures need a cost structure that makes small customers and products financially attractive. Enthusiastically pursue the small orders.

DELIBERATE planning (TRADITIONAL / for existing-sustaining):
(1) - make assumptions about the future
(2) - make a strategy based on those assumptions & build financial projections based on that strategy
(3) - make decisions to invest based on those financial projections
(4) - implement the strategy in order to achieve projected financial results

(1) - make the targeted financial projections
(2) - what assumptions must prove true in order for these projections to materialize?
(3) - implement a plan to learn - to test whether the critical assumptions are reasonable
(4) - invest to implement the strategy

note #3 : a plan to test the validity of the most important assumptions. This plan needs to generate quickly, with as little expense as possible, validating or invalidating information about the most critical assumptions.

The resource allocation process can get sticky, which is why the CEO needs to keep their hands on the control constantly and consciously. When a viable strategy has emerged and it's time for execution, the CEO needs to aggressively switch to a deliberate strategy mode and stop funding emergent opportunities that might divert the company from its focus on the winning plan.


Create a Disruptive Growth Engine : which capably and repeatedly launches successful growth businesses. Sense when the circumstances are changing, and keep teaching others how to recognize these signals.

One problem with the "send the big decisions to the big people" theory is that most of the data is in the divisions.

Decision-making processes that work well without senior attention are critical to success in circumstances of sustaining innovation.

For those decisions that the mainstream processes and values were designed to make effectively (sustaining, primarily) less senior executive invovlement is needed.
It's when senior execs sense that the processes and values of the mainstream organization were not designed to handle important decisions in an organization (such as in disruptive circumstances), that senior execs need to participate.

Disruptive innovation : powerful senior managers must personally be involved.
Sustaining innovation : delegation works effectively.

Barring the employees from deviating from the standard would kill innovation.

Create a system to surface the most important and successful innovations from the day-to-day operations level of the company.

Plant managers were evaluated on the measures of plant performance in these reports, and their reputation was affected by the relative ranking of their plants. This system, in other words, provided ample motivation for managers to search for any innovation that would improve their performance and relative ranking.

(1) - It needs to operate rhythmically, by policy, rather than in response.
Start before you need to. Build while you are still growing.
A budgeted number of new businesses that need to be launched each year.
(2) - CEO or senior exec must lead the effort - someone who has authority to lead from the top when necessary
Be able to separate ideas with disruptive potential from those that are best deployed on an established sustaining trajectory
(3) - Establish a small corporate-level group - "movers and shapers" - whose members develop a repeatable system for shaping ideas into disruptive business plans that are funded and launched
Create a separately operating process through which ideas can be shaped into high-potential disruptions.
Collect disruptive innovation ideas and mold them into propositions that fit the litmus tests outlined in Chapters 2-6.
The members of this team have to understand these theories at a deep level, stick together, and apply them frequently.
(4) - Train the troops : System for training and retraining people throughout the organization, to identify disruptive opportunities and take them to the movers and shapers
Capturing ideas for new-growth from people in direct contact with markets and technologies is far more productive.


Where you start, relative to the direction of the competitive, technological, and profit-seeking forces acting upon you, can make a huge difference in the probability that you will succeed. This view simplifies the challenge of creating new-growth businesses. It means that when you start a new business you do not need to envision accurately the details of your strategy or predict foresightedly how technology will evolve. Rather, you need to focus primarily on getting the initial conditions right.

If you start from a good place, then the choices that lead to success will look like the right choices.


* - Never say yes to a strategy that targets customers and markets that look attractive to an established competitor. Find clients that established competitors will be happy to ignore.
* - If your target customer is already using pretty-good products, instead find a way to find nonconsumers. Customers need to be delighted to have a simple inexpensive alternative to nothing.
* - If there are no nonconsumers available, explore whether a low-end disruption is feasible
* - Help customers get done more conveniently and inexpensively what they are already trying to get done
* - Segment the market in ways that mirror the jobs customers are trying to get done.
* - Develop competencies where the money will be made in the future
* - When a new venture is said to fit your company's core competence, ask these 3 questions:
* - Do we have the resources to succeed?
* - Will our processes facilitate what needs to be done to succeeed in the new business?
* - Will our values enable the critical people to give the needed priority to this initiative, when compared to the other initiatives that compete for time/money/talent?
* - Ask these last 3 questions about your channel partners, as well.
* - In choosing the management team for your new venture, search their resumes for the problems they have grappled with, and compare them to the problems that you know this venture must confront.
* - Halt decisive plans to implement any strategy before there is evidence that it works.
* - Be impatient for profit
* - Keep your company growing so that you can be patient for growth