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 has 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.
Christensen contends that by understanding what causes customers to "hire" a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they’ll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts.
This book carefully lays down Christensen’s 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.
CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN is the Kim B. Clark Professor at Harvard Business School, the author of nine books, a five-time recipient of the McKinsey Award for Harvard Business Review’s best article, and the cofounder of four companies, including the innovation consulting firm Innosight. In 2011 and 2013 he was named the world’s most influential business thinker in a biennial ranking conducted by Thinkers50.
TADDY HALL is a principal with the Cambridge Group and a leader of Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation Project. In these capacities, he helps senior executives create successful new products and improve innovation processes. He also works extensively with executives in emerging markets as an advisor to the nonprofit Endeavor.
KAREN DILLON is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life? She is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 2011 she was named by Ashoka as one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women.
DAVID S. DUNCAN is a senior partner at Innosight. He’s a leading thinker and advisor to senior executives on innovation strategy and growth, helping them navigate disruptive change, create sustainable growth, and transform their organizations to thrive for the long term. He is a graduate of Duke University and earned a PhD in physics from Harvard University.
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.
The Lean Product Playbook is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful products through clear, step-by-step guidance and advice.
The Lean Startup movement has contributed new and valuable ideas about product development and has generated lots of excitement. However, many companies have yet to successfully adopt Lean thinking. Despite their enthusiasm and familiarity with the high-level concepts, many teams run into challenges trying to adopt Lean because they feel like they lack specific guidance on what exactly they should be doing.
If you are interested in Lean Startup principles and want to apply them to develop winning products, this book is for you. This book describes the Lean Product Process: a repeatable, easy-to-follow methodology for iterating your way to product-market fit. It walks you through how to:Determine your target customersIdentify underserved customer needsCreate a winning product strategyDecide on your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)Design your MVP prototypeTest your MVP with customersIterate rapidly to achieve product-market fit
This book was written by entrepreneur and Lean product expert Dan Olsen whose experience spans product management, UX design, coding, analytics, and marketing across a variety of products. As a hands-on consultant, he refined and applied the advice in this book as he helped many companies improve their product process and build great products. His clients include Facebook, Box, Hightail, Epocrates, and Medallia.
Entrepreneurs, executives, product managers, designers, developers, marketers, analysts and anyone who is passionate about building great products will find The Lean Product Playbook an indispensable, hands-on resource.
Every organization has its share of political drama: Personalities clash. Agendas compete. Turf wars erupt. But you need to work productively with your colleagues—even difficult ones—for the good of your organization and your career. How can you do that without compromising your personal values? By acknowledging that power dynamics and unwritten rules exist—and navigating them constructively.
The HBR Guide to Office Politics will help you succeed at work without being a power grabber or a corporate climber. Instead you’ll cultivate a political strategy that’s authentic to you. You’ll learn how to:Gain influence without losing your integrityContend with backstabbers and bulliesWork through tough conversationsManage tensions when resources are scarceGet your share of choice assignmentsAccept that not all conflict is bad
Arm yourself with the advice you need to succeed on the job, from a source you trust. Packed with how-to essentials from leading experts, the HBR Guides provide smart answers to your most pressing work challenges.
If you read nothing else on managing yourself, read these 10 articles (plus the bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles to select the most important ones to help you maximize yourself.
HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself will inspire you to:Stay engaged throughout your 50+-year work lifeTap into your deepest valuesSolicit candid feedbackReplenish physical and mental energyBalance work, home, community, and selfSpread positive energy throughout your organizationRebound from tough timesDecrease distractibility and frenzyDelegate and develop employees' initiativeThis collection of best-selling articles includes: bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen, "Managing Oneself," "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey?" "How Resilience Works," "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," "Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform," "Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life," "Reclaim Your Job," "Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership," "What to Ask the Person in the Mirror," and "Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance."
But hope is not an effective strategy.
Clayton M. Christensen and his co-authors reveal a paradox at the heart of our approach to solving poverty. While noble, our current solutions are not producing consistent results, and in some cases, have exacerbated the problem. At least twenty countries that have received billions of dollars’ worth of aid are poorer now.
Applying the rigorous and theory-driven analysis he is known for, Christensen suggests a better way. The right kind of innovation not only builds companies—but also builds countries. The Prosperity Paradox identifies the limits of common economic development models, which tend to be top-down efforts, and offers a new framework for economic growth based on entrepreneurship and market-creating innovation. Christensen, Ojomo, and Dillon use successful examples from America’s own economic development, including Ford, Eastman Kodak, and Singer Sewing Machines, and shows how similar models have worked in other regions such as Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Rwanda, India, Argentina, and Mexico.
The ideas in this book will help companies desperate for real, long-term growth see actual, sustainable progress where they’ve failed before. But The Prosperity Paradox is more than a business book; it is a call to action for anyone who wants a fresh take for making the world a better and more prosperous place.