Disruption Theory Can Predict Which Companies Will Survive, And Which Will Crumble

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What if we could predict which businesses would survive, and which would crumble? Which new ventures would be worth funding, and which only worth scrapping? It might be possible, writes Michael Raynor, author of The Innovator’s Manifesto: Deliberate Disruption for Transformational Growth. The director at Deloitte Consulting has worked alongside Clayton Christensen on the Innovator’s Solution, and has since been applying Christensen’s landmark Disruption Theory to dozens of case studies. He claims that applying Disruption Theory when analysing a new venture can help managers more accurately predict which businesses will survive. “In other words, not only is Disruption effective, it can be readily and successfully taught and applied,” he writes. Raynor speaks with Inc.com‘s Christine Lagorio about why some industries are “disruption-proof,” why we don’t study sea turtles, and why “fail fast” just isn’t enough.

What inspired you to work on this book?
Thomas Thurston at Intel was interested in determining whether disruption theory would help him launching new business inside Intel. He started by looking at a portfolio of companies Intel funded. And he said, if I’d use disruption theory, what would I have funded, and what would the success rate? Of the six he would have funded, four survived. That’s quite different than the actual 10 per cent of those that Intel had funded that survived. I collaborated with Thomas with a number of experiments at Harvard, along with MBA students. We asked each student to read six of the 48 Intel case studies we had, and predict which companies would survive. Then we asked them to read disruption theory, and then predict which would survive. Their accuracy rate increased significantly. Disruption is the first theory of its kind in innovation that’s been proven in this way.Continue reading at Inc.com >