Clayton Christensen, the business scholar who coined the term “disruptive innovation,” died of cancer treatment complications on Thursday at age 67. The Verge reports: You may not immediately recognize his name, but the tech industry — and every resulting industry — is built on the framework of technology disruption and innovation that Christensen devised. The crux of Christensen’s theory is that big, successful companies that neglect potential customers at the lower end of their markets (mainframe computers, in his famous example) are ripe for disruption from smaller, more efficient, more nimble competitors that can do almost as good a job more cheaply (like personal computers). One need look no further than the biggest names in Silicon Valley to find evidence of successful disrupters, from Napster to Amazon to Uber to Airbnb and so on.
And scores of notable tech leaders have for years cited Christensen’s 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma
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