Clayton Christensen, who coined the term ‘disruptive innovation,’ dies at 67

Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards - 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Clayton Christensen, the business scholar who coined the term “disruptive innovation,” died at a Boston hospital this week, the Deseret News reports. He was 67. You may not immediately recognize his name, but the tech industry — and every resulting industry — is built on the framework of technology disruption and innovation that Christensen devised.

The crux of Christensen’s theory is that big, successful companies that neglect potential customers at the lower end of their markets (mainframe computers, in his famous example) are ripe for disruption from smaller, more efficient, more nimble competitors that can do almost as good a job more cheaply (like personal computers). One need look no further than the biggest names in Silicon…

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