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Required Reading: Competing Against Luck

Stria Staff June 20, 2018
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Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice
By Clayton M. Christensen

How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights.

After years of research, Christensen and his co-authors have come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim–that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation–is wrong. Customers don’t buy products or services; they “hire” them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The “Jobs to Be Done” approach can be seen in some of the world’s most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes–it’s about predicting new ones.

This book carefully lays down the authors’ provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world–and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides. (From the publisher)

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