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Disruptive Innovations: Often Work Better

Posted by Joe Antle on October 24, 2018 12:50 PM EDT
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Another key element in favor of disruptive innovations is that the disruptive innovations often work better, doing the Job to be Done...

...more effectively, more conveniently and in a more simple manner than far more sophisticated and higher performing solutions, products or services do.

This is not always an intuitive concept to many marketers, managers and to the general public.  In Dr. Clayton Christensen's writings, he refers to the concept of finding "Good Enough" solutions for the "Jobs to be Done" that existing consumer solutions don't do affordably, conveniently, simply, reliably or in a way that can easily be replicated.  Most people adhere to the normal market expansion path which escalates to higher and higher functionality that ultimately makes a solution to good on some dimension of quality, but not good enough on others such as convenience, price, and ease of use.

Christensen points out that the definition of "works better" is applicable to the particular "job to be done" that large numbers of consumers seek to resolve.  So, experts and incumbents in specific fields often see the initial versions of disruptive innovations as not being good enough on dimensions that matter to the most sophisticated and demanding of consumers.  But for non-consumers, being good enough on dimensions that matter enables a new market or low-end disruptive innovation to gain traction and begin to create growth from non-consumption.

Products that come to mind across various industries are:

-Post-it Notes

-JitterBug mobile phones

-Craiglist classified ads

-What's App

-eBay

and on and on.

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