Christensen: I Don’t Have Much to Say About Innovation

Gartner has posted Part II of its interview with Clay “Disruptive innovation” Christensen. It’s worthwhile reading, and he does make a confession, of sorts:

In a typical company, 80 to 90% of its money ought to be spent executing sustaining innovations. I only write about disruption, just because I don’t have much to say about sustaining innovation.

More seriously, he has one more comment that I quite like, one having to do with the importance of realizing that what companies originally propose to do almost certainly will have nothing with the thing at which they finally succeed:

… almost always, a company starts out in a direction conceived by the founder, and in 93% of companies that ultimately end up being successful, they figure out the original strategy doesn’t work. But by kind of thorough experimentation and trial-and-error in the market, they happen upon or iterate towards a strategy and a business model that really is viable. At that point, companies that continue to kind of flounder and experiment in the market place, kind of fade away. And the ones that know, really get ahead of the pack…


  1. thankfully someone finally just telling us they have nothing interesting to say today…as opposed to the bloggers of the world.

  2. Absolutely. Such candor is refreshing — and bloggers could use some. Then again, hey waitaminute 😉