Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Disruptive Innovation: Commentary on Christensen

Clayton Christensen, famous for his several books and many articles on disruptive innovation, provided an excerpt from one of his books for the on-line Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. The editor, Mads Soegaard, asked if I would write a commentary.  Having long been a fan of Christensen's writings, I gladly obliged. I tried to put his work into my own personal context and experiences with the development of products that succeeded, and in some cases, failed: great ideas, well done, and very disruptive, but introduced too soon. My favorite example is Apple's digital camera. Disruptive idea? Absolutely? Successful? Not for Apple. In fact, Apple got out of the camera business. Introducing something too soon is as bad as introducing it too late.

The articles that make up this package are all valuable. Read Christensen, then read the commentaries -- not just mine, also read the very excellent comments by Marc Steen (at TNO in the Netherlands) and by Paul Hekkert (from Industrial Design at Delft, the Netherlands).

And then, permanently bookmark the Encyclopaedia as a valuable source of critical essays that is continually growing and adding to its collection. (Volunteer to help). 

References and URLs

Christensen, Clayton M. (2012). Disruptive Innovation. In: Soegaard, Mads and Dam, Rikke Friis (eds.), Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction-Design.org Foundation. Available online at http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/disruptive_innovation.html.

Norman, Donald A. (2012). Commentary on 'Disruptive Innovation' by Clayton M. Christensen. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from Interaction-Design.org: http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/disruptive_innovation.html#donald+a.+norman

Steen, Marc (2012). Commentary on 'Disruptive Innovation' by Clayton M. Christensen. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from Interaction-Design.org: http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/disruptive_innovation.html#marc+steen

Hekkert, Paul (2012). Commentary on 'Disruptive Innovation' by Clayton M. Christensen. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from Interaction-Design.org: http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/disruptive_innovation.html#paul+hekkert

Essays

Books