The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

General Description (from
What do the Honda Supercub, Intel’s 8088 processor, and hydraulic excavators have in common? They are all examples of disruptive technologies that helped to redefine the competitive landscape of their respective markets. These products did not come about as the result of successful companies carrying out sound business practices in established markets. In The Innovator’s Dilemma, author Clayton M. Christensen shows how these and other products cut into the low end of the marketplace and eventually evolved to displace high-end competitors and their reigning technologies.

At the heart of The Innovator’s Dilemma is how a successful company with established products keeps from being pushed aside by newer, cheaper products that will, over time, get better and become a serious threat. Christensen writes that even the best-managed companies, in spite of their attention to customers and continual investment in new technology, are susceptible to failure no matter what the industry, be it hard drives or consumer retailing. Succinct and clearly written, The Innovator’s Dilemma is an important book that belongs on every manager’s bookshelf. Highly recommended. –Harry C. Edwards

Why the President Should Read This Book
Innovation is neither the exclusive domain of government-funded projects, nor the private sector, but that’s not the point of this book. It is not a book about politics or government, but it is an important book for leaders in politics and government to read and understand, because government policies can retard, misdirect, and inhibit the kind of innovation that raises our standard of living in the areas of environment, medicine, technology, transportation, energy, and food production, just to name a few. Although it is easy to say that the solution is for government to merely get out of the way, the difficulty arises when those in public service do not realize they are in the way, and therefore do not know to get out of it. A thorough understanding of this book would greatly aid those who wish to promote the kind of innovation that makes us all better off.