The Innovator’s Manifesto

Deliberate disruption for transformational growth

Disruption is a theory of innovation that explains how particular types of new products and services come to achieve success or even dominance, often at the expense of once-powerful incumbents.

About the book

From the rise of the telephone in the late 19th century to automobiles for the masses in the 1920s to restaurant meals available to all in the 1950s to Intel in the 1970s, personal computers in the 1980s, low cost airlines in the 1990s, and social media sites today–disruption captures the essence of the “creative destruction” that has long characterized modern American capitalism.

Disruption was first explained by Clayton M. Christensen in the bestseller, The Innovator’s Dilemma. In 2003, Christensen and coauthor Michael E. Raynor teamed up to deliver The Innovator’s Solution, a blueprint for understanding and managing the forces that influence disruption so that companies can shape high-octane business plans to create disruptive growth.

But for all this, the question remained: does disruption really work? Can disruption get beyond merely explaining the past and actually make it possible for any manager to more accurately predict the future?

Based on Raynor's research, the answer, it turns out, is "yes." In The Innovator's Manifesto,Raynor is back with specific data and analysis demonstrating that disruption has predictive power. In addition, Raynor lays bare the causal mechanisms of disruption in ways that allow the newcomer to these ideas to understand and apply them quickly and successfully, even as Raynor brings new clarity and insight to the most conscientious students of disruption.

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​Executive summary

The first objective of this book is to demonstrate that Disruption has true predictive power. The Innovator's Manifesto demonstrates this through controlled experiments–for most people, the most persuasive evidence there is when it comes to prediction. Second, this book makes the case for Disruption’s unique and superior explanatory power. It lays out a definition of Disruption precise enough that Disruptive innovations can be accurately identified in advance of knowing how they ultimately fare and their results in the marketplace explained more fully and parsimoniously than by any other theory. Finally, it offers thoughts on how one can go about applying these concepts to the greatest effect at the least expense.

Prediction - Chapters one and two

The Innovator’s Manifesto starts by describing the design and results of carefully controlled experiments testing the predictive power of Disruption’s central claims: that an innovation has the best chance of success when it has a very different performance profile and appeals to customers of relatively little interest to dominant incumbents, and the organization commercializing it enjoys substantial strategic and operational autonomy. In contrast, attempts to introduce better-performing solutions targeted at customers valued by successful incumbents will fail.

Explanation - Chapters three, four, and five

A common challenge in research of any kind and certainly in the field of applied management, is determining the extent to which one can "generalize beyond the sample." Thankfully, we can claim a credible understanding of what will happen in circumstances we have not tested directly if we have a correct understanding of why results turn out as they do. In reality, as is often the case, such judgments are not binary: one is more or less justified in generalizing beyond the sample depending on the sample, what one hopes to generalize and how far beyond the sample one wishes to go.

Application - Chapters six, seven, and eight

Whatever scientific rigor and theoretical elegance might characterize Disruption, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And so how to apply Disruption successfully is addressed next. The examples and tools in these chapters are intended to start you–whether you are an investor, an entrepreneur, a manager, or a corporate M&A strategist–down the road to using Disruption effectively.

About the book

Read an excerpt with the foreword, prologue, and first chapter

Critical acclaim

The Innovator's Manifesto, as well as other books authored by Michael Raynor, have received critical acclaim from business and thought leaders across a wide variety of field.

"What makes The Innovator's Manifesto so significant is that it is perhaps the first and in my view the most significant and successful effort yet to move the field of innovation from the intuitive stage into the world of empirical management. [Raynor] has elaborated upon particular elements of Disruption in ways that make clear when and how the theory can be applied. And he has provided frameworks for its application that will enable most any business to reap the benefits that Disruption makes possible."
-Clayton M. Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School and author of the bestselling books The Innovator's DNA, The Innovator's Dilemma, and The Innovator's Solution

"Raynor has been able to prove in a powerful manner that the concept of Disruption can–in fact–predict success and failure at an early stage. Although intuitively simple, the concept remains difficult to grasp fully. This book takes away some of the mystery and helps managers to apply it to their own new business initiatives."
-John Bell, Head Strategy and Partnerships, Philips Corporate Technologies, Philips Research

"Disruption has been an intriguing way to think about innovation. But The Innovator's Manifestoprovides both validation for the theory of Disruption and an incisive set of tests that are a first for the field of strategy. It also offers practicing managers a way to use Disruption to shape and implement strategy. Thanks to the wide range of compelling illustrations and the practical tools provided here, innovation no longer has to be the blind 'bet' that it has been for so long for so many."
-Bill Fischer, Co-author of The Idea Hunter and Professor for Technology Management & Innovation, IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland

"The Innovator's Manifesto will convince you that the theory of disruptive Innovation has true predictive power. Not only does Michael Raynor prove that using Disruption dramatically improves the odds of identifying successful strategies early, he moves Christensen's theory forward, demonstrating with new clarity and insight why disruptive innovators emerge on top so consistently. As a professional investor, The Innovator's Dilemma was game-changing for me."
-Whitney Johnson, President and co-Founder, Rose Park Advisors

"In this original, deeply thoughtful, and compelling work, Raynor demonstrates the unique power of disruptive Strategy in identifying and fostering successful innovations. Based on a wealth of practical experience, balanced in its reasoning and bold in its prescriptions, this book will undoubtedly become invaluable for executives and investors alike."
-Leo M. Tilman, President, L.M.Tilman & Co.; Faculty, Columbia University; author of Financial Darwinism

"The Innovator's Manifesto is brilliantly written and one of the most insightful strategy books of the last decade. Not only does it apply a rigorous scientific approach to understanding business disruptions, it also provides practical applications and suggestions for companies–and leaders–who want to remain relevant in the turbulent decade ahead. This book is a must-read for strategy professionals and practitioners alike."
-Allen Morrison, Professor of Management Practice, INSEAD North America

​Acclaim for the book

Media coverage

The articles below feature some of the media coverage for The Innovator's Manifesto.

Michael Raynor in conversation with Karen Kerr, Live Talks Business Forum | February 21, 2012
Books: disruptive influence, Financial Times | October 24, 2011
Which business book should you listen to?, The Globe and Mail | October 06, 2011
Michael E. Raynor: An interview by Bob Morris, | September 28, 2011
Understanding the role of disruption, Canadian Innovation Centre | September 05, 2011
Schumpeter reloaded, Innovation Excellence | August 29, 2011
Move with the speed of disruption, | August 26, 2011
"The Business of Life" on KKZZ 1400, Coachron Tunick | August 24, 2011
New book offers a ‘Manifesto’ for innovators, CNBC | August 18, 2011
Innovation: Minimizing failure or maximizing success?, TEDxBayArea | August 16, 2011
Predicting success, BNET | August 16, 2011
Lang & O'Leary exchange, CBC News | August 11, 2011
Profit from "Disruptive" innovation, The Street | August 10, 2011
Book review: The Innovator's Manifesto, Productivity Alberta | August 2011
Disruptive Innovation: The Southwest Airlines case revisited, Emerald Strategy & Leadership
Disruption theory as a predictor of innovation success/failure, Emerald Strategy & Leadership

Copyright © 2011 by Michael E. Raynor. All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

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