Taking a slightly different approach than other World Innovation Forum bloggers, I’ve distilled the first 90 minutes with Clayton Christensen down into these Top 10 Insights:
- Largest markets don’t represent the biggest growth opportunity – non-existent markets are key
- Sustaining innovation improves product past what people need – disruptive innovations often win by being inferior but closer to customer needs
- Low cost strategy only works when you are fighting against a high cost competitor – prices fall if only low cost competitors exist
- A good disruptive strategy creates an incentive for leaders to exit the contested area and focus on higher margin businesses
- Biggest opporunity in China isn’t low cost labor, it’s the untapped market of non-consumers
- Clayton Christensen believes that green energy opportunities are not in high tech solutions but in low tech developing world instead
- Be careful about outsourcing too much of your operations – you can end up creating competitors (Compaq/Flextronics example)
- Good companies survive by setting up separate businesses with an unfettered charter to kill the mother company
- Clayton Christensen doesn’t seem to believe that listening to customers is key to innovation
- Listening to customers doesn’t necessarily tip off leaders to possibilities of disruptive innovation
Finally, I’d just like to say that if you’ve never seen Clayton Christensen in person, he is a gentle giant with a calm demeanor, and surprisingly funny.
Update May 24, 2009 – Here are the slides from Clayton Christensen’s presentation at the World Innovation Forum:
What do you think?
Braden Kelley (@innovate on Twitter)