The Father of ‘Disruptive Innovation” Is Dead, RIP Clayton Christensen

The Father of ‘Disruptive Innovation” Is Dead, RIP Clayton Christensen

He wrote “The Innovator’s Dilemma” and brought new perspectives on the mechanics of innovation. He explained to the world what “innovation” means and stands for. He became the father of “disruptive innovation”, a big Book in the modern bible of startups and broad technology companies. He was sent to serve as a high priest, a business spiritual leader, helping legions of men and women to understand how innovation can redesign the structure and architecture of market systems, competitiveness, productivity and growth. Because innovation must deliver new basis of competition, the outcome cannot be ordinary. Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor, died on Thursday, aged 67.

Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business School professor whose ideas on “disruptive innovation’’ influenced boardrooms and workplaces around the world, has died at 67.

Michael B. Horn, who was a student of Mr. Christensen’s, coauthored a book with him, and cofounded the Clayton Christensen Institute, said he died Thursday surrounded by his family at a Massachusetts hospital from health complications stemming from the treatment of leukemia.

Mr. Christensen’s book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail,’’ became a crucial text as the digital revolution took hold. “Disruptive innovation’’ was applied to industries ranging from steel, to retail, semiconductors, and newspapers.


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