最近賈伯斯的自傳出版，裡頭有提到他喜歡的書籍清單，其中有一本就是這本“創新的兩難”。作者克雷頓、克里斯汀(Clayton M. Christensen)，以這本書及他的破壞式創新理論(Disruptive Innovation)奠定他的創新大師的地位。許多企業無時無刻不保持警覺，專心聆聽客戶的聲音，積極地投資新科技，但是在面對科技與市場結構的變遷時，仍是喪失了既有的領導地位。因為其過度專注於客戶需求導致無法開發新市場，也無法未來的產品找到新客戶。這也就是克雷頓、克里斯汀所謂的兩難 – 客戶需求和發展創新。克雷頓、克里斯汀提出破壞式創新是解決這兩難的方式之一。而破壞式創新也正是當年賈伯斯將蘋果從破產邊緣拯救，進而創造現今蘋果王國的利器。一直到現在，蘋果也都採用著這樣的方式在經營。
賈伯斯以”為客戶創造價值”這點出發來解決蘋果遇到的創新的兩難。賈伯斯很有名的一句話是“很多時候人們不知道自己想要什麼，除非你秀給他們看。”，正如當年福特有句名言，說如果你問十九世紀末二十世紀 初的人要什麼，他們決不會說“汽車”，而會說我要一匹跑得更快的馬。所以說，當他開始重掌蘋果時，就放棄了以追求利潤經營主要目標，不管當時消費者說需要什麼，專注在他認為消費者真正需要，只是他們還未察覺的創新產品上。有趣的是，蘋果的Ipad也大大打擊了自家Mac的市場。但是庫克(Cook)說:”If This Is Cannibalization, It Feels Pretty Good.”：）庫克認為對蘋果而言，每個團隊都專注做他們覺得他們的消費者需要的產品，不考慮是否侵蝕自家產品市場。看似Ipad侵蝕了現有Mac的產品市場，其實侵蝕其他廠商的事場更多，而且，未來iPad也許帶來新的Mac的市場。
Recently the release of the Steve Jobs biography shows a list of Jobs’s favorite books. There’s one business book on this list, Innovator’s Dilemma by HBS Professor Clay Christensen, which “deeply influenced” Jobs.
One of the reasons that Clay Christensen became a giant in the world of innovation thinker is the book and the Innovator’s Dilemma became the a bible for technology executives and Internet entrepreneurs not long after it was published in 1997.The book’s theme is about that some well-led companies – often market leaders – that carefully pay attention to what customers need and that invest heavily in new technologies, but still loose their market leadership suddenly. This can happen when disruptive technologies enter the stage. Most technologies improve the performance of existing products in relation to the criteria which existing customers have always used. These technologies are called sustaining technologies. Disruptive technologies do something different. They create an entirely new value proposition. And that’s the stratify Jobs used to save Apple from the edge of bankruptcy.
One of Jobs’ favorite quote is ” A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. “, just like what Henry Fort said “If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me ‘A faster horse'”. So he transitioned the focus of Apple away from profits when he took over Apple. He thought profit was viewed as necessary, but not sufficient, to justify everything Apple did. He focused on creating great products, then sells them. What’s interesting is that Apple’s iPad even disrupts Mac’s business. However, Tim Cook said “If This Is Cannibalization, It Feels Pretty Good.” Cook also noted that internally, Apple doesn’t worry about cannibalization or even think about it. “The iPad team works on making their product the best. Same with the Mac team. Both teams think they can continue to grow”. He believes that as long as they focus on bring values to customer,while the iPad may be eating into some of the would-be Mac sales, it’s also fueling other new Mac sales.
This book Innovator’s Dilemma is a good read, even though it’s already be published over 10 year, it’s still one of many executives’ fav books.