Scott Anthony, Clayton Christensen

There’s a simple, important principle at the core of the disruptive-innovation theory: Companies innovate faster than customers’ lives change. That’s why companies end up selling products that are too good and too expensive for many customers. This happens for a good reason: Managers are trained to seek higher profits by bringing better products to the most demanding customers. But in that pursuit of profits, companies “overshoot” less-demanding customers who are perfectly willing to take the basics at reasonable prices. And they ignore “nonconsumers” who lack the skills, wealth, or ability to consume at all. Disruptive innovators succeed by introducing relatively simple, cheap solutions that delight these overshot customers or nonconsumers. Some innovations disrupt an existing market from the low end. Other disruptive innovations create entirely new markets by competing against nonconsumption.

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