osOpinion: Free Software and the Innovator's Dilemma
Jan 17, 2001, 07:36 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Zedlewski)
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"If you wanted to assemble a "must read" list for any
businessperson looking at the Linux/Free Software industry, what
would you include? Certainly "Open Sources" from O'Reilly, is the
most obvious answer, probably followed by Bob Young's upcoming
"Under the Radar," which details the story of Red Hat's rise."
"But I would argue that a third book belong in the top tier of
that list as well: "The Innovator's Dilemma," written by Clayton
Christensen and published by Harvard Business School Press...."
"In almost every case, he claims, established industry leaders
were managed well, by conventional standards. They listened to
their customer base and constantly sought to increase their
penetration in high-margin, high-end markets. These seemingly
innocuous strategies become disastrous, however, when a "disruptive
technology" enters the low end of the market...."
"Specifically, I want to focus on Linux, which might be the best
example of a truly disruptive technology that we've seen since the
advent of the Internet. The Innovator's Dilemma theory gives us a
guide to understand how established software firms risk missing the
boat with respect to Linux, just as brick-and-mortar retailers were
overtaken on the Net by smaller, more daring startups."