Remembering Clayton Christensen

While much of the world is mourning the loss of the great basketball player Kobe Bryant, I also want to take a moment to mark the passing of the influential thinker and researcher Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma and the father of the theory of disruption, which has shaped technological change ever since. A few of his quotes relevant to the growth and evolution of ODR:

“Empowering innovations transform something that is complicated and expensive into something that is so much more simple and affordable that a much larger population can enjoy it.”

“When an entrant competitor attacks the low end of any market, the rational reaction of the incumbent firms is to abandon rather than defend it – because the low end is the least profitable of their possible investments.”

“The reason why it is so difficult for existing firms to capitalize on disruptive innovations is that their processes and their business model that make them good at the existing business actually make them bad at competing for the disruption.”

“There just isn’t anything more invigorating than to read an article or hear about an entrepreneur using the term ‘disruptive technology’ that makes no reference to me as the source. When it’s clear they really got the idea and they use it as if it were in everyday parlance, that’s the ultimate triumph.”

It’s never easy to say goodbye to those who inspire us, but we can carry forth their influence if we remember the lessons they taught us and the example set by their hard work and achievements. RIP. (h/t Orna)